Three Ways that Elon Musk Built his Personal Brand (And Three Musk Mistakes That You Must Learn From)


When you think of the tech sector, you think of Elon Musk. He’s created such a powerful personal brand that it overshadows his own companies. Here’s what you can learn from the methods (and mistakes) in Musk’s brand-building quest.

In Elon Musk, you have an entrepreneur who’s bigger than his companies. Musk founded the likes of Tesla and SpaceX with a vision of catapulting the human race forward. And in doing so, he’s created a powerful personal brand.

He’s the man you think of when you hear those company’s names. In fact, his brand eclipses those of his companies. Musk is one of the go-to guys when you think about modern entrepreneurs.

The point is that he’s done an amazing job of crafting his own brand that’s completely separate from those of his companies.

That’s something that you should aspire to as a speaker. While you want to build a business, you also want your audience to connect to you. You want people to care about your story.

Musk’s achieved just that. Here, we look at how he managed it, as well as examining some of the missteps he’s made along the way.

Tip #1 – Show Your Story With Your Brand

What do you think Musk aims to do with Tesla?

He’s looking to completely transform the automotive industry. With this company, he wants to move us away from the fossil fuel-driven vehicles of today. Through vehicles powered by electricity, he aims to create a brighter future.

That’s all part of his story as much as it is Tesla’s vision. Musk’s great ambition is to move humanity forward in new directions. Tesla is essentially one of the vehicles that he’s using to achieve that goal.

As a result, he’s showing you his personal story through his company brand. The vision of his company is a direct result of the personal goals that he has.

There’s an amazing by-product to this technique. It creates an instant connection between the business brand and Musk’s personal brand. When you hear about Tesla, you instantly understand Musk’s story.

Better yet, he commits to building his brand through Tesla. Musk has a reputation for being a visionary, but he’s also known for his accountability.

When a Tesla car caught fire in 2013, Musk didn’t hide away from the issue. He responded with a blog post that immediately tackled it.

In doing that, he showed people that he’s accountable for what his companies do. In fact, he’s so accountable that he takes the time to respond to such issues personally.

That’s all part of his story too. While he wants to pull humanity forward, he also knows that he needs checks and balances. Such direct responses show that he’s engaging his audience. In doing so, he makes his personal brand more powerful. His commitment to accountability gives people a reason to trust him even when things do go wrong.

That trust creates a strong connection between Musk and his audience. It’s a crucial part of the brand he’s built and the story that he’s showing.

Tip #2 – Make Your Audience a Part of Your Story

With all that Musk has achieved, you’d expect him to cast himself as the hero of his story. He’s the visionary that’s dragging the rest of us forward. Follow him to the Promised Land.

If he represented himself that way, his personal brand would go up in flames. People don’t connect to those who lord over them. They grow to resent them, which means they don’t buy into the person.

Musk’s a visionary, but he knows how important it is that his audience participates in that vision. That’s why he makes them a part of his story.

Think about what happens when someone buys a Tesla vehicle. They’re attracted to the story behind the brand. Musk’s probably played a large part in influencing the purchasing decision.

When that purchase gets made, the customer instantly becomes a part of Musk’s story. They’re taking on all of these amazing qualities, such as being future-focused and environmentally conscious. They’re joining Musk on his quest to move humanity forward. And in doing so, they become the heroes of their own stories.

Musk’s just the guide on the journey. It’s the customer who’s the hero. They get to show people their own values and story through the action that Musk inspires them to take.

A personal brand isn’t about making sales. It’s about connecting with people and getting them to engage with your vision. Your story becomes a part of their story, and vice versa. And when that happens, your personal brand becomes even more powerful.

Tip #3 – Commit to Your Brand as You do to Your Work

Musk’s work ethic borders on legendary. He’s known for regularly working 80+ hours per work to ensure all of his businesses succeed.

Incidentally, that work ethic plays into his personal branding. People see how hard he works to achieve his vision and instantly connect. He’s not a faceless CEO. He’s in the trenches with his people.

But that’s not what this point focuses on. Instead, it’s about making your personal brand as much of a focus of your work as your business.

Musk has two massive businesses. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if he split his working hours between them and didn’t do anything else.

But that’s not the case, he’s active all over social media and interacting with people on a regular basis. He’s creating amazing content and attending events. Musk gets himself out there and shows people what he’s doing.

These efforts may benefit his business brands. But they’re more important for building his personal brand. He’s putting information out there and actively working on how he wants people to perceive him.

Take his direct interactions with Tesla customers as an example. Those aren’t about building the Tesla brand. These interactions help him to build trust and engage his audience. In doing that, he’s improving people’s perception of him and guiding it to where he wants it to be.

Here’s the point.

Your brand isn’t something that just appears as a result of your work in your business. It’s something that you have to actively craft and maintain.

That means you have to put the hours into building it.

Elon Musk’s Big Mistakes

For all of the success that Musk has enjoyed while building his personal brand, he’s also an example of how mistakes can derail things.

In 2018, a team of young Thai footballers got trapped in a labyrinthine cave system in Thailand. Water blocked their escape route and the rescue effort gained international publicity.

Musk offered his services in the form of a submarine that he believed could save the children. Unfortunately, the practicalities of the situation made the sub unusable. Instead, a team of divers rescued the children without Musk’s help.

Musk’s response did massive damage to his personal brand. He used Twitter to make serious allegations against one of the divers.

He’ll need to recover from that situation. But here’s what you can learn from Musk’s big mistake.

Tip #1 – Don’t Attack Others

Your personal brand is all about you. It’s not about your competitors or people that you may have a dislike for.

As soon as you start attacking other people, you’re showing a side to your personality that people haven’t seen before. In Musk’s case, it was a side that a lot of people didn’t like.

Focus on you instead of other people.

Tip #2 – Accept When You’re Not the Hero

Ironically, Musk’s biggest mistake in this situation was his desire to cast himself as the hero.

That’s something he’d avoided well up until this point. But his attack on the divers smacked of jealousy that they’d received the plaudits instead of him.

Musk tried to make himself the hero of a story and it backfired. A better response would have been to congratulate the divers on their efforts and move on. He’d have done no damage to his brand if he’d just overcome his desire to be the hero.

Tip #3 – Remember That Emotions Count

When you have a personal brand, you become an influencer. People connect to you on an emotional level. That means your emotions can influence theirs.

Musk was clearly upset about the way things played out with the Thai rescue operation. Unfortunately, his response was to vent those emotions all over social media.

In those moments, he made the situation all about him in a negative way. He also stirred up negative emotions among his audience. Some rebuked him whereas others joined in the unwarranted criticism he levied against the diver.

Building a personal brand is all about creating emotional connections between you and your audience. Always consider the emotional impact of your message before you show it to the world.

The Final Word

By and large, Elon Musk offers a stellar example of how to build an amazing personal brand.

But his actions in 2018 highlight some of the mistakes that you can make along the way. Learn from the good and the bad and you’ll have a better chance of creating an amazing personal brand.

Speakers Institute can help you to put all of this into practice. We recommend that you do the following:

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #onlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum.

  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally.  (Apply to Speak)

  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITYlast event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques.

7 Surprising Reasons Why John F Kennedy is One of History’s Greatest Storyshowers


JFK is world-renowned as one of the greatest leaders in American history. Part of his strength came from his ability to influence others by showing his story.

In the annals of American history, there are few presidents as revered as John F. Kennedy (JFK). Though his time in power was brief, with a tragedy bringing his life to an end, he inspired millions of people.

Many look to JFK as one of the greatest orators of all time. His speeches still inspire people to this day. Many look to them for inspiration when attempting to craft their own speeches. Everything from the way he spoke through to how he carried himself has been the subject of intense study.

JFK built this reputation because he was more than just a storyteller. JFK was a storyshower who had the power to unlock the emotion behind his words so that he could inspire others.

JFK’s inaugural address offers up a great example of the many techniques that he used to show his story. Here, we’re going to take a look at a few snippets of that address to unveil some of the reasons why JFK has his reputation. We’ll also look at some of the other reasons why JFK was such a great storyshower.

Reason #1 – He Used Contrasts to Great Effect

Contrasting two opposing viewpoints can do a great deal to inspire emotion in your audience. The contrast forces the listener to truly think about what you’re saying. Instead of telling them something, you’re showing them two alternatives. From there, they have to consider your words more closely to understand the meaning behind them.

JFK used contrasts to great effect throughout his inaugural address. However, no instance was more powerful than one of the most famous lines from the speech:

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

In this brief moment, JFK introduced a contrast that directly challenged his audience’s thought process. He forced them to stand up and take notice, as this was a speech that could change how they thought about life.

Contrasts also mirror the way that the human mind works. Whenever you think of a situation or an action, your mind considers alternatives. For example, you may think of the “best” and “worst” case outcomes from an action.

By using contrasts to his advantage, JFK’s speeches encouraged people to think deeply about his words.


Reason #2 – He Made Excellent Use of Tone

Vocal tone plays a huge role in how people take your words in. JFK was a master of matching his tone to the message that he hoped to deliver.

Again, we come back to the famous “Ask not…” line.

When listening to JFK’s delivery, you will note that JFK says “Ask not” with much more force that the rest of the statement. He uses a higher frequency to capture the listener’s attention before delivering the message that he wants to influence them with.

This is just a small example of how JFK used tone to show his story. At various points during his inaugural speech, you will notice him vary between speaking softly and forcefully. You will note that he includes pauses to allow his words to resonate with the listener.

JFK used tone to emphasise the most important parts of his speeches and stories. This allowed him to draw attention to what he wanted to show people.

Reason #3 – He Used Repetition Effectively

Repetition can be a powerful storyshowing tool, when used correctly. It allows you to emphasise the key points of your story. However, overuse can make your speech come off as redundant.

JFK’s inaugural speech offers an excellent example of how to use repetition to great effect. About half way through the speech, JFK settles on the phrase “Let both sides…” as the subject of his repetition.

He then goes on to deliver four crucial points of his speech. In each case, he uses the repeated phrase to punctuate the deeper message that follows:

“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms--and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.”

This is JFKs call for a unity that will transcend the political divides that become most potent during a presidential race. With the race settled, JFK calls on all Americans to join with him in a combined effort to achieve more.

In this case “Let both sides…” allows JFK to address everybody listening. With their attention captured, he is able to show everybody what he hopes to achieve.

Reason #4 – He Kept Speeches Short and Concise

The speaking industry has evolved in recent years. Greater value is now placed on getting your message out there quickly and concisely.

You have to dig into the roots of your message to show your story effectively. There can be no pontificating around your points if you are to engage your audience.

JFK’s inaugural speech offers an excellent example of this. Clocking in at just over 1,300 words, the speech lasted for less than 15 minutes. But in that time, JFK used his storyshowing ability to unite a nation.

Imagine if his speech had run for double that amount of time. Eventually, the story would have gotten lost among filler and content that didn’t focus on the key messages that JFK wanted to deliver.

Reason #5 – He Made His Audience the Subject

Throughout his speech, JFK regularly associates himself with his audience. He may be their president. But he does not hold himself above them while speaking.

He uses the word “us” to create a connection between himself and his audience:

“Let us never negotiate out of fear.”

“Now the trumpet summons us again…”

“Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.”

Rarely will you find him speak of himself in the first person during the speech.

This technique served a powerful purpose with his inaugural address. JFK wished to show his audience that he hoped to unite them. Instead of telling them how he intended to do this, he showed them what would be possible together.

Whether this technique works for you depends on the subject of your speech. If you’re showing people your own story, there are fewer opportunities to make the audience the subject.

However, this technique does highlight the importance of connecting with your audience. It shows the vital nature of including them in the story in order to engage them. By using the word “us” instead of “me”, JFK connected directly with his audience.



Reason #6 – He Used Body Language to His Advantage

Many people do not know that JFK struggled with several medical conditions during his presidency. A combination of back problems and Addison’s disease left him in constant pain. At times, he could only walk with the aid of crutches.

Many don’t know this because Kennedy didn’t show it. In fact, those who have observed him speak note that he made excellent use of body language. JFK would stride into rooms confidently and open himself up to his audience.

His performance during his debates with Richard Nixon showcased this ability too. JFK was at once powerful and welcoming. He exuded an aura of competence while also showing his audience that he was one of them and understood them.

But he never showed them his biggest vulnerability.

Vulnerability can be a useful tool to help you connect with your audience. But in JFK’s case, he was a man in a position of great power. Too much vulnerability could leave him seeming weak, which would not inspire confidence in his audience.

JFK used his body language to convey an aura of strength. He used this to his advantage to capture an audience’s attention so that he could show his story.

Reason #7 – He Bled Authenticity

We come back to JFK’s inaugural speech to demonstrate the final reason why he was such a powerful storyshower.

JFK imbued his speech with an authenticity that most cannot replicate. He truly seemed to believe every word that he said about uniting the nation.

The words he spoke, and the underlying mission, seemed to come straight from his heart. He delivered them in a forthright way that helped the listener understand exactly what he wanted to achieve. There was no room for fakery or misplaced sentiment. JFK’s inaugural speech was a statement of intent.

This proved particularly powerful in the political realm, where authenticity is in short supply. JFK wasn’t looking to placate the people with meaningless words. He wanted to show them what was possible if they would unite under his vision.

The Final Word

JFK didn’t just dry recite a bunch of words on a page to his audience. In every speech, but particularly during his inaugural address, he showed people his vision for the United States.

JFK used his body language to convey a sense of strength and openness. He used storyshowing techniques, such as repetition and making his audience the subject, to get an emotional response. He spoke with authority and authenticity while making excellent use of tone.

Finally, he never outstayed his welcome. JFK got to the heart of his message quickly.

With the right guidance, you can become a powerful storyshower in the same vein as JFK. Speakers Institute can show you the way. We recommend that you do the following:

With Speakers Institute, you’ll learn how to become a powerful and influential storyshower.


  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW

How Real People Transform Themselves Into Storyshowers (And How You Can Do the Same)


Are you a Storyteller or a Storyshower? It’s not enough to just tell people about your story. You need to show them.

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The speaking industry is changing.

For decades, speakers have spent their time telling stories. They’ll stand on stage for hours on end and talk.

But things have changed. People don’t want to listen to speakers who just recite dry facts. They want to go on an emotional ride with a storyshower.

Great storyshowers bleed authenticity. They know what makes their story unique and they can unlock the emotional power behind their words. Storyshowers can influence an audience and inspire their teams.

Storyshowers do so much more than tell you what they know. They pull down their own defences and let their audiences in. They transport their audiences to moments in time and help them to feel what they felt during those moments.

All of the speaking techniques in the world won’t help you if you can’t show people your story. You may feel confident and powerful on stage. But if you just tell people what you know, they’ll never fully engage with you.

We’re going to help you unlock the secrets. And to do it, we’re going to show you the stories of some of Speakers Institute’s most successful clients.

Vicki’s Story

Vicky comes from a long line of Vietnamese boat people. In the 1980s, her family decided to move to Australia in an effort to make a better life for their children. They entered the restaurant trade and Vicky followed suit.

But there was a voice deep inside that told her she could do so much more. Her story could make a difference. She just needs to learn how to show it to people.

Vicki finally felt like enough was enough. The restaurant trade wasn’t helping her to fulfil her purpose, so she decided to attend a Speakers Institute bootcamp.

In just a few short days, she unlocked the secrets of why she exists and what her story can show other people. After the bootcamp, Vicki attained a clarity of purpose that she may not have discovered on her own.

She decided to take the next step and enrolled in our Top Tier program. She developed her story and learned more about how to show it to the world. With us, Vicki learned how to position herself in the marketplace so she stood out from everyone else. She learned how to frame one disruptive idea with emotional stories that engage and influence audiences.

Vicki became a storyshower. And with Speakers Institute, she learned how to package her story to reach the widest audience possible.

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Vicki’s Tip – Commercialise Your Message

Many speakers have great stories to show people. But thousands of people struggle to turn their speaking into a viable business.

Becoming a storyshower means little if you don’t have the business framework to get your message out there.

With Speakers Institute, Vicki learned how to commercialise her message. She discovered that taking keynote speaking engagements would help her to reach a wider audience. Vicki created a brand around her story. She used the power of her uniqueness to connect and she took advantage of commercial platforms to spread her message.

Then, she focused on packaging her story.

Live speaking isn’t the only way to show people your story. Sure, the speakers all engage with a live audience during the initial engagement. But that speech then gets posted online and viewed by millions of people from all around the world.

One speaking engagement can lead to a world of change.

Vicki learned that collecting her most powerful stories into an online package could help her to earn while showing people her story.

Today, she maintains a set of online courses that earn her $10,000 every month.

But that doesn’t mean that she’s stopped giving keynote speeches. In fact, she takes part in two or three live engagements every week, each of which earns her $6,000.

Constant refinement of your story can help you to engage more people. Show people why they have to care as quickly as possible. Package your story so that it appeals to the modern commercial market. People don’t want multi-hour meandering speeches. They want you to catch their attention with a story that’s well articulated and commercially viable.

Peter’s Story

Peter’s story starts with a tragedy. In his mid-20s, Peter was in a motorcycle accident that left him disabled.

Months of painful rehabilitation followed and he struggled to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But through sheer will and persistence, Peter overcame.

Then, he started thinking about how he could use his story to help other people. He’d been through a hellacious experience and come out the other end. He wanted to show people how he did it.

Peter joined the Speakers Institute bootcamp because he knew that he needed to learn from the best in the business.

With us, he learned how to refine his message and show the emotions that drove his story. But he also learned how to develop the business behind his story. Speakers Institute gave Peter access to a support network that helped him to share his story.

Through the bootcamp, Peter met a ghost writer who he worked with to turn his story into a book.

Over the next few months, Peter worked on his book. Then, he relied on the connections he’d built with Speakers Institute to open up his distribution channels. Peter’s story found its way into every airport in Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

The end result was a place in the Top 50 list for his book’s niche. Peter also got the opportunity to talk about his work on the Australian show Project TV, which ramped up his exposure.

Today, he’s a speaker, author, and life coach who shares his story with thousands of people.

Peter’s Tip – Find Other Ways to Show Your Story

Your speaking is a great way to show people your story.

But it’s not the only avenue that’s open to you. In Peter’s case, writing and publishing a book brought his story to a much wider audience. Thousands of people discovered what he had to say who may never have attended one of his speeches.

His entire business grew from there. His book led to television appearances, which raised even more awareness about his story. From there, Peter started taking paid speaking gigs where he showed a different side of his story to his live audiences.

You could even argue that his book is the reason why he enjoys such a successful career today.

Here’s the point. You have so many different avenues available to you if you have a story to share. A book is one of them, but the internet also holds many possibilities. Websites and social media pages offer you the chance to show parts of your story to visitors. You can even use webinars to show your story to people who can’t attend your live events.

Much like Vicki, Peter commercialised his story. As a result, he got to show it to even more people so that he could build a sustainable career.

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Bonus Tip – Balance Your Emotional Content

The above tips will help you to package your story and get it in front of a larger audience.

But that won’t help if you don’t understand how to storyshow.

It all comes down to emotion. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Balancing your emotional content is the key to showing people a story that they will engage with.

Speakers Institute founder Sam Cawthorn offers a perfect example of how not to achieve the right emotional balance.

Much like Peter, Sam’s speaking career started with a vehicle accident. He crashed his car and lost his arm. But he knew that his story could inspire and influence others.

But Sam’s first paid speaking engagement didn’t go as he expected. After capturing the audience’s attention with a few jokes and some statistics, he moved into his story.

Throughout his telling of his story, Sam didn’t pause for breath. He just kept going without giving his audience any chance to absorb the emotional weight of the tale.

Worse yet, he showed no vulnerability. Instead of showing people how much his accident devastated him, Sam cracked jokes repeatedly. He put up his defensive barriers and made connecting with his audience impossible.

Humour has a place and it can elicit joyful emotions. But it’s not something that you sprinkle throughout a story about a tragic accident.

In that moment, Sam learned about the importance of balancing his emotional content. He discovered that he had to show his audience the true emotions behind what happened to him.

Vulnerability makes him authentic and keeps his audience engaged.

Balance your emotional content. If you’re showing people a difficult moment, let them feel it. Pause so they understand your emotional state and avoid trying to bring levity into the situation.

On the flipside, don’t dwell on vulnerability. That could make you seem self-pitying. Understand the emotion behind every aspect of your story and show it to your audience.

The Final Word

With Speakers Institute, Vicki and Peter learned how to show their story. As importantly, they learned about the business behind storyshowing.

You can do the same. And it all starts with taking one of the following steps:

With Speakers Institute, you’ll become a storyshower who has the tools needed to get their message out.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW

3-Step Formula To Overcome Difficult Situations

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Have you ever felt genuinely “not okay” in your life and you don’t know how to turn around a difficult situation?

Learn and watch how Sam Cawthorn, a powerful motivational speaker, explains the 3-Step Formula on how to cope and win with such adversity.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW

The Business of Speaking (And Three Tips for Building a Million-Dollar Speaking Empire)

Great speakers can earn millions from their work. But to do that, you need to understand the business of speaking as well as well as you understand the concept of storyshowing.


There are thousands of amazing speakers in the world.

They’re, in fact, experts in storyshowing. They can make their audiences feel every word that they say. Every speech they make influences people to make positive changes in their lives.

And they’re making absolutely no money from their work.

Being a great speaker doesn’t automatically make you a great businessperson. You can deliver the goods every time that you’re on stage. But without the business acumen to back it up, you won’t make any money.

That’s why so many thousands of great storyshowers can’t make a great living from their work.

It’s about much more than your talent. Your speaking is your product. If you don’t know how to sell it, you’re essentially giving it away for free.

You need to understand the business behind speaking before you can build a great career. But the good news is that there’s plenty of money to make once you do. Leading speakers get paid thousands of dollars for each engagement.

Do you want to join their ranks?

Here are a few tips to help you build your speaking empire.


Tip #1 – Build Your Integrated Product Funnel

Integrated Product Funnel (IPF) is a salesy term that doesn’t seem like it relates to storyshowing.

But a strong IPF can have a huge effect on your speaking business.

It’s the old “try before you buy” idea. Give your clients something for free to get them to buy the services that you have to offer.

Apple offers an amazing example of how to do this.

It all starts with iTunes.

iTunes is a free application that anybody can download regardless of whether they own an Apple device.

And that’s where the selling starts. Using iTunes, you can buy music, movies, and all sorts of digital products. Apple offers free samples of all of these things to encourage you to buy.

But then you need something to play them on, so you buy an iPod or an iPhone.

Now you’re hooked on the brand. Let’s say that you want to get a tablet computer. Do you go with another manufacturer or do you go with the familiar company that you understand.

Of course, you buy the iPad.

That’s how Apple sell so many products and create a sense of brand loyalty. By giving iTunes away for free, they’re showing people what they can get. They just need to buy Apple’s devices to access it.

Tesla does a great job of this too. A salesperson talk all day about the many great features of a Tesla car. But they’ll tell you it’s not until you give it a drive that you’ll really understand.

You get that free test drive and you’re hooked. Tesla have just made a sale.

So, how can you use the IPF funnel for your storyshowing business?

Highlighting your talents on other media helps. Create a Facebook page and posts clips of yourself speaking. People can view them for free, but they won’t get the entire story until they hire you.

Write blog posts and build a website. Give people a small sample of what they’ll get. That tiny taste gives them a good enough idea of what you’re about to give them the confidence to hire you.

Of course, you could take things further. At Speakers Institute, we often invite potential clients to our speaking engagements for free. They get to see what we have to offer, which means they’re more likely to hire us.

Plus, they’ll talk about us to their friends. Our IPF funnel turns our potential clients into storyshowers on our behalf.


Tip #2 – Turn Clients into Storyshowers

We touched on the concept of turning your clients into storyshowers. Let’s expand on it a little here.

Traditionally, you’d rely on the salesperson or the publicist to get people interested in your product. If you’re a speaker, you may use an agent to advertise what you’re selling.

But social media has completely changed the way that we do things.

And that brings you right back around to your speaking.

Don’t just tell people what’s so great about you. Show them. Make them feel something with your story and take them on an emotional ride that they just have to share.

In traditional terms, you’re looking to generate “word of mouth”.

But using modern tools, you’re looking to tell stories.

Think about it like this. We all respect the opinions of people we trust over random salespeople. When a friend or family member tells a positive story about an experience, you’re more likely to want to share in that experience.

Every like, share, and comment adds to that story.

Eventually, the people that you tell your story to become storyshowers themselves. They’re showing people that you’ve never interacted with why they should hire you.

And the seed just keeps growing. Every story that you show plants a new seed. The people who you take along for the ride share your story and add to it.

And in doing that, you build the human factor into your product or service. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to sell. What matters is that people connect with it.

Use every tool that you have at your disposal. Show people a story that’s so riveting that they can’t help but share it with others.

All of the while, your business grows. Attendance to your speaking engagement go up and you become an influencer in your sector. The more you and others showcase your story, the more demand that you experience.


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Tip #3 – Show Your Story to Your Team

When you’re up on stage, it can feel like you’re all alone.

Sure, you have an audience that you’re trying to influence. But it’s your story that’s going to make or break the engagement. It’s up to you to show them something that will influence them towards whatever decisions that you want them to make.

But when it comes to the business of speaking, you must recognise that you’re not alone. You’ll usually have an entire team of people working with you.

If you haven’t shown them your story, you can’t expect them to help others to understand it either.

Daniel Flynn offers his view on this subject. He’s the co-founder of Thankyou, which is a social enterprise that helps communities find sustainable water sources.

Every penny of the profit made from Thankyou’s products go towards that goal.

But Daniel needs to show people a compelling story to convince them to buy water. To do that, the company lets people in on the good and the bad. They show people the highs and lows that they’ve gone through to get where they are.

They let them see their vulnerable side.

None of that would work if the whole team wasn’t working to get people to join the story.

As Daniel says to his sales team: “We are not salespeople, we are storytellers and we are inviting that person across the table from us to be part of this story. They can write the next chapter with us.”

It’s a team effort. Daniel may show Thankyou’s story on stage. But the entire team has to show it when dealing with potential clients.

It’s a group effort that achieves a single goal – continuing to write your story.

Your team has to understand your story and why it’s important. They have to believe in what you’re doing and what you’re trying to show people.

If they’re not fully engaged, the whole thing falls apart. You could tell the greatest stories on stage. But when your team doesn’t back you up off stage, people aren’t going to buy your product.


The Final Word

The business of speaking comes down to knowing what makes your story unique. You need to engage people emotionally and show them what’s so special about you.

But always remember that your speaking is one of your products.

Without the right business structure, you can only go so far. To build a business empire you need:

  • An effective IPF that gives people enough of a taste of your story for them to want to explore more.

  • Show people a story that’s so amazing that they have to share it with other people. Build a community around your story and turn your clients into storyshowers on your behalf.

  • Build a team that believes in the story you’re showing and wants to spread the message. It’s ultimately your team that will help you to sell your story and your products.

Of course, we all need a little help every now and again. We’ve shown you some of the key tips for building your speaking empire.

But there’s so much more to learn. We encourage you to do all of the following:

We’ll help you to learn how to show your story. Then, we’ll help you to build a business around your story.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW

7 Little Known Speaking Secrets You Can Learn From Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream" Speech



Turning a struggle into an engaging story is not enough to inspire others to believe in a shared dream. You need to show them the story.


Martin Luther King Jr. had a profound impact on race relations in the United States and beyond. His inspirational speeches and peaceful activism empowered the Civil Rights Movement.

King was a key figure of the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 that ignited the fight for racial equality. In 1963, he was at the forefront of the March on Washington. At the capital, before more than 200,000 people, he made one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century.

Through his words and actions, King inspired the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 also owes him a great debt.

Today, King's lasting influence transcends the realms of race and politics. His speeches continue to empower people to believe in shared dreams. But of all his speeches, "I Have a Dream" is the one that most resonates with us today.

And if you aim to be the best storyshower you can be, you really need to study it.


The Famous Speech

King kept working on his speech as demonstrators were gathering before the Lincoln Memorial. He worked with his advisers to put the final touches on an inspiring speech. The occasion was momentous. The march had a great aim – to pressure the United States Congress to pass a new civil rights bill.

King was the 16th on a programme that included nine other speakers. When his turn came, he began to read his drafted speech like a lecture. The reaction was far from ecstatic.

"I Have a Dream" was probably not the speech that King intended to deliver. He had delivered it before. He knew it by heart.

But his adviser Wyatt Walker had told him not to use it, calling it "trite” and “clichéd".

As he neared the end of his drafted speech, the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, who was behind King, urged him to “Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin.”

Why did King listen to her? Why did he launch into “I Have a Dream?”

For King, it was not enough to tell the demonstrators about the future he envisioned. He knew that he needed to show it to them. He knew that he needed to lay aside rhetoric and simple facts and inspire them to believe in a shared dream.


Tip #1 – Show Your Story, Don’t Just Tell It

In his speech, King did not tell a story of freedom. He did not simply enumerate the difficulties that the African American community was facing. Instead, he opened a window of understanding in those who listened. He showed them a story of a man embroiled in the struggle of his race.

This is the reason why we still remember King’s speech today.

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

King’s word choice and the eye contact that he made with his listeners helped to convey a story that was not only his own but the story of a race and of a country. His forceful but exact delivery made his story flow through him and into the hearts of his listeners.

King did not report facts that all those gathered knew already. Instead, he built empathy and engagement. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t introduce facts into your speeches.

You can toggle between facts and telling a story to make your speech more engaging. Use dialogue and take your audience on a journey to a meaningful transformation. Above all, show how your story resonates with your audience.


Tip #2 – Be Unapologetically Yourself

King stood up and shared the story of his race, and by implication, of his own struggles. In one of the most famous parts of his speech, he said:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”

That statement is a deeply personal one. It hints at the vulnerability of his dream. Because throughout his life, others had judged King by the colour of his skin.

It also hints at the vulnerability of his children, and at the vulnerability of all African Americans. But despite the forcefulness and confidence of his delivery, King did not try to prove his rightness through his own might.

When you open yourself before your audience and admit your vulnerability, you connect with them on a deeper level.

As a speaker, you are often on a platform or podium that’s higher than your audience. But to truly connect with them, you must never forget that you walk among them. You are vulnerable like they are, and if you speak about your vulnerabilities, they will understand.


Tip #3 – Give Your Speech the Right Cadence and Rhythm

If you have watched the recording of the “I Have a Dream” speech, parts of the speech may strike you as slow. Despite the passion with which he speaks, King did not rush to deliver his speech. He gave his speech the right cadence and rhythm at the word level.

Cadence and rhythm are something that every speaker uses, consciously or not. However, less experienced speakers may not apply them as scrupulously as King did. If you think of the cadence of a speech at the sentence-level, you may rush your speech.

But King lingered on individual words and phrases to make the pauses between words more meaningful. When he needed to make a strong point, he used repetitions to enforce his message. To increase the power of his speech, he alternated longer, slower sections with brisker sentences.

“I have a dream today,” he said, and then paused. He continued with a longer sentence, “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low.” After this he used a shorter, blunter delivery: “This is our hope.”


Tip #4 – Use Anaphora to Create Powerful Repetitions

In his build-up to one of his most famous sentences, Martin Luther King used anaphora. This rhetorical device refers to the repetition of words at the beginning of consecutive sentences:

“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation... Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.”

But King did not use anaphora merely as a rhetorical trick. He did not use it to grab attention but to stress a belief. The belief that the time for change has come, and with it, the importance of the present moment.

By the time he used this device, his audience’s eyes were already riveted on him. He used it naturally when the cadence and the rhythm of his speech invited it.

Furthermore, he did not overuse it. He put it aside at the right time and allowed for longer stretches of slower, less nuanced but no less forceful expositions.

Repetitions help reinforce your point and give rhythm to your speeches. Use them to make your speeches more inspiring.


Tip #5 – Infuse Your Speech with Vivid Metaphors

King’s speech was rich with vivid metaphors. This is one of the reasons his speech had a mesmeric quality to it, despite its apparent slowness.

"But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt."

Metaphors are an integral part of any story. They broaden and deepen the meaning of your words. They help you to show your story.

"Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood."

When you associate ideas with visual concepts, you make them more forceful. At the same time, you make them more memorable.

While King’s speech had an immediate impact, it needed time to secure its place in history. But it’s in no small measure due to these metaphors that it endures in our minds today.

Whether you are speaking at a corporate event or before a crowd, make room for vivid metaphors in your speech. Let poetry and literature inspire you.


Tip #6 – Give Your Speech a Beginning, a Middle, and an End

At the beginning of his speech, King turned back the clock:

“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today...”

He then gradually built up his speech to that day in August 1963. He drew attention to the importance of that historic moment:

“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy...”

He finished his speech with a hopeful, emphatic message, one that called for a better future:

“Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring...”

Structure your speech like a story. Plan it with a beginning, a middle, and an end in mind. In this way, you can build your speech to a resolution that has a forceful impact on your listeners.

This approach will help you show your story rather than simply tell it. It gives your speech a shape to which you can add details and incorporate stories.


Tip #7 – Speak with Passion

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech with passion. But he mastered his passion, even restrained it, so that it would not distort the cadence of his speech.

It’s not the ebullient passion of a salesman on a cold call. Rather, it’s the passion of a man who believes in his convictions.

A less experienced speaker may confuse passion with a quick delivery. Perhaps even with verbosity. But King’s passion stresses every world and imbues even the silence between words with meaning.

So that, towards the end of his speech, when he calls all who listen to action, we truly believe him:

“So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania...”


The Final Word

Martin Luther King Jr. was not a storyteller. He was a storyshower. Using words, body language, and meaningful pauses, he told the story of a race at a turning point in its history.

“I Have a Dream” can help you become a better speaker. It can show you how to channel the power of language to tell visual stories that empower your audience. It can show you how to make a shared dream a reality.

Becoming a storyshower is a process. It calls for more than using certain rhetorical devices or speech structures. Speakers Institute can help you become a storyshower.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW

5 Surprising Tips That’ll Get You Paid (Yes, Paid) Speaking Gigs

When you speak at an event, you’re providing a service. You shouldn’t have to provide that service for free. Find out what these people did to get paid for speaking.


How much did you get paid for your last speaking engagement?

Did you even get paid at all?

For many, the answer is a resounding “no”. There’s no shortage in the number of speaking opportunities out there. But so many of them offer no payment for your services.

Even some of the most prestigious organisations and institutions don’t pay their speakers. Perhaps they assume that you’ll get something valuable from your association with the brand. The exposure could certainly lead to more speaking opportunities.

But that doesn’t mean much if you’re not getting paid. You can’t build a speaking career on exposure alone.

If you’re considered enough of an authority to speak for somebody, you’re valuable enough to get paid.

The world’s top speakers understand this. People like Tony Robbins earn thousands from a single speaking engagement. Former United States president Bill Clinton regularly commands $250,000+ or more for speaking.

There’s money out there for speakers. You just need to know how to get it. These tips and stories from people who get paid to speak can help you.


Tip #1 – Have the Courage to Ask


Femjineer founder Poornima Vijayashanker made a startling discovery early in her speaking career.

Her research told her that top speakers can earn up to six figures for their speaking.

Yet she’d never received payment for a single speaking engagement.

She reached out to other speakers and found many of them were in the same position. She thought about getting an agent. But then she found that most agents only work with bestselling authors and Fortune 500 CEOs.

These were the people that were already getting paid for speaking.

Vijayashanker realised that she had to go it alone, so she made a promise to herself. She would ask for payment when her next speaking opportunity arose.

That opportunity came with an invite to speak as part of a panel for a Wharton School of Business conference. Vijayashanker wanted to take part and may have even done it for free.

But she’d made a promise to herself.

Vijayashanker tallied up the costs associated with taking part. Then, she sent her response: “Thanks for the offer, I’d love to speak on your panel, but I’ll need to be paid for my time.”

She only asked for $75.

The Wharton School of Business said that they could cover that fee and Vijayashanker learned a valuable lesson.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get paid.

Today she asks in excess of $10,000 and companies pay it.

Think about how this story relates to your own speaking career. Are you waiting around for people to offer payment when they offer an opportunity?

If so, you’re less likely to receive payment. Vijayashanker saw her speaking career take on a whole new dimension when she developed the courage to ask for payment. You can do the same.

The next time you’re offered an opportunity, ask the question. You’ll find that many organisations will happily pay you for your time, within reason. And you’ll have taken your first big step into paid speaking.

Tip #2 – Learn How to Negotiate a Price


Vijayashanker offers some more advice when it comes to setting your fee.

You may have an idea of your value. But the organisation you speak for also has an idea of the price they’re willing to pay.

Most importantly, most will want you to set a fee. If you get this wrong, you may lose the engagement.

Vijayashanker recognises the danger of pricing yourself out of the opportunity. She says that a simple formula helps her to set a reasonable price.

“My formula factors in any admission charges for attendees, and how many people will be attending the event,” she says.

“I multiply those two numbers together to get a sense of gross sales and ask anywhere from 1% to 10% of those gross sales”

You don’t have to use her formula, but you must understand her point. Every organisation is different. Some have massive budgets for speakers, whereas others may not have even considered paying you.

Price yourself appropriately and you’ll stand more chance of getting paid.


Tip #3 – Offer Something of Value


Let’s look at the story of Harry Walker to demonstrate the importance of offering value.

Many consider Walker to be one of the early innovators in the speaking industry. During the 1960s and 70s, he created an agency that represented a number of influential speakers of the time.

Most of these speakers didn’t get paid before joining Walker.

The reason that they started earning is because Walker offered something different to audiences. In his terms, his speakers offered “mind stretching programs.”

His son boiled this term down upon Walker’s death in 2002.

“That meant instead of talking to Coca-Cola executives about bottling—which is what they used to hear about—talk to them about what's happening in the world,” he says.

Simply put, Walker’s speakers offered something of value that the audience couldn’t get anywhere else. They weren’t telling them things that they already knew. Instead, Walker’s speakers provided insight that could inform a company’s decisions. A company like Coca-Cola could use these insights to create more effective marketing campaigns.

The speaking industry has evolved since the 1960s and 70s.

But the concept of offering value remains the same.

If you don’t have something unique to share with others, you’re not going to get paid.

Think about what makes your speaking special. Your story has a unique value, as do the emotions you get people to feel when you speak. Your experiences offer value and you need to project that to your audience.

Invite people to your speeches or share video of you in action to show the value that you have to offer. As long as you can give your audience something unique, you’re more likely to receive payment for your efforts.

Tip #4 – Diversify


Sam Johnson is a tenured professor at a university in the United States. He’s also not too keen about sharing his place of work or his real name. Sam Johnson is actually a pseudonym, but that doesn’t mean that his advice doesn’t carry value.

Because according to Sam, he gets paid about $60,000 per month for speaking.

In 2016, Sam wrote an article for Chronicle Vitae in which he spoke about how he gets paid to speak. In that essay, he brings up the topic of diversification.

“…The key to earning a good income from speaking fees is being able to talk about more than one topic,” he says. “The more speeches in your repertoire, the larger your pool of potential clients.”

You may think that you only have your own story to share. And that is the crux of all of your speaking.

But every story has many facets. There are so many different angles that you can approach your speaking from. You also have a range of experiences to draw from.

Use all of that to diversify your speaking. Show that you’re more than a one-trick pony and you’ll make yourself a more desirable speaker. The more people that you can speak for, the more likely you are to get paid.

Tip #5 – Search for Events


Don’t wait for speaking opportunities to come to you.

Go out and seek them on your own.

You’ll often find that you can find further work in your audience. An audience member who you impressed with your speech may want to use you themselves. And they’ve seen your work first-hand. They know what you can do and will be more willing to pay for your time.

But what about those who are new to speaking?

In this case, Google is a great friend.

First, make a list of all of the topics that you feel comfortable speaking about. You may have specific areas of expertise that your story relates to. Figure out what you can offer before you start your search.

Let’s say that you live in Sydney and your speaking centres on entrepreneurship. A simple Google search of “Sydney entrepreneur conference” offers the following results:



These are all conferences where you might be able to speak. Better yet, there’s a list of related searches at the bottom of the page that will show you more potential search terms.

Be proactive and start getting in touch with any that you may be able to offer a service to. Speak to the event organisers, show them what you can do, and remember Tip #1. Always ask for a fee.

But it all starts with being proactive and making a list.



People can go many years of speaking without earning a single dollar. They keep waiting for the right opportunity instead of doing something about it.

Don’t fall into that group.

Being proactive nets you far more than you may realise. Search for organisations that could use your services and ensure you have something unique to offer. Create a diverse range of speeches that let you appeal to the widest possible audience.

Most importantly, have the courage to ask for payment.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to get some help along the way. Speakers Institute can help you to hone your story and ensure you show people your value. Try doing the following to get started:

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW

Tony Robbins: 5 Secrets For Influencing Millions Of People

Discover how world-renowned speaker Tony Robbins is spreading his message around the world.


What is your main aim when you stand up in front of people and speak?

Sure, you want to get your story out there. You want people to listen and respond positively to what you have to say.

But there’s a wider goal that all speakers reach for.

You want to influence other people to take action based on your words.

You want them to listen to your story and use it to inspire them towards something new in their lives.

When you speak, you’re essentially selling your story. You’re asking people to listen to what you have to say and trying to influence them to make a decision based on your words.

In that respect, the speaker is much like the salesperson. And both need to master the art of influence to master their craft.

When it comes to influencing people, there’s perhaps no greater authority than Tony Robbins. His sales and speaking expertise has influenced the decisions of many global companies and some of the most successful people in the world. Robbins understands how to use his words, stories, and emotions to influence others.

You can learn from him.



Who is Tony Robbins?


Tony Robbins has been an influential figure on the business scene for over four decades.

But to know what built him into the monolith of speaking you see today, you need to go back to his early years.

Robbins’ early career saw him working alongside another famed speaker – Jim Rohn. In many ways, Rohn’s career provided a map for the route that Robbins would later follow. A speaker and author, Rohn was also an entrepreneur with a deep understanding of the business world.

Robbins promoted events and releases on behalf of Rohn. More importantly, he learned from Rohn that material possessions aren’t the key to happiness. Instead, it’s what you do with the resources that you have available that determines your happiness.

That’s a lesson that Robbins takes into everything that he does.

Rohn’s work inspired and influenced Robbins. Towards the end of the 1980s, Robbins started to forge his own path as a speaker and business consultant.

Fast-forward to today and Robbins can claim that he’s influenced over 50 million people with his writing and speaking. The author of six bestselling books, Robbins also tours the globe to speak about his life training programs. In total, he’s spoken to over 4 million people.

More importantly, his unique combination of humour and expertise has had a transformative effect on many. From Fortune 500 companies through to regular people, Robbins has influenced many to make positive changes.

He can also inspire you to become a more influential speaker.


Tony Robbins’ Secrets


You now have one burning question.

How do you influence people in the same way as Tony Robbins?

Thankfully, Robbins isn’t shy about sharing the wealth. He’s more than happy to offer some insight into his techniques. These secrets will help you to master the art of influencing.


Secret #1 – Understand the Power of Words


Speakers Institute often talks about the importance of injecting emotion into your speaking. Even something as simple as a single word can transform a speech. It’s up to you to harness the emotional power of the words that you use. Doing so helps you to deliver influential speeches.

Robbins has his own take on the power of words. He says, “When it comes to language, <words are> really important because language produces emotion.”

“Learn which words move you forward and pull you back. The words that pull you back – get rid of them.”

Robbins goes on to say that words like “depressed” can have a devastating effect on a speaker’s emotions. If you’re using such words, you’re affecting your own sense of wellbeing. That comes across in your speaking.

Here’s the point. The words that you use all have emotional weight. It’s up to you to balance that weight. If the emotion attached to the words you use pulls you back, it’s going to do the same to your audience. Learn which words move you forward and incorporate more of them into your speaking.

You’ll have a more positive influence and keep your audience on board as you speak.


Secret #2 – Influence by Association


Robbins also has another powerful weapon in his arsenal.

He ensures that he’s seen with the right people at the right times. Robbins hobnobs with other influencers for a simple reason.

A combination of influential personalities boosts your influence further.

Just conduct a Google image search using Robbins’ name. You’ll see him photographed with influencers from practically every field. He's networked with business tycoons, like Richard Branson, and former world leaders, like Bill Clinton.

But it’s not a case of name-dropping. Robbins’ association with other influencers is his way of building a network. He offers something of value to them, just like they do to him.

He’s building relationships.

You can do the same. While you may not have access to the same sort of influencers, you can still build your network. Attend business events and get in front of the key influencers in your sector. Associate with these influencers and others will know that your words carry weight. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t have people wanting to associate with you.

This lends credibility to your speaking, which increases your powers of influence.


Secret #3 – Know Your Audience


Do you know what Tony Robbins does before he speaks at an event?

He does what he calls his “homework”. This involves finding out as much as possible about the people attending the event. In some cases, he even interviews attendees to get direct answers from them.

He says: “…The more you understand what somebody wants, needs, and fears, the more you can figure out how to add value.”

“Add value” is the key phrase here.

Speaking isn’t just about telling your story.

Sure, people want to hear what you have to say. But they’re attending because they have their own problems and pain points. They’re hoping to learn something that helps them to solve these issues.

That’s where knowing your audience becomes important. The research you conduct offers you some insight into what your audience intends to achieve when they watch you speak.

It’s not about you telling people your story.

It’s about making them feel something and helping them to use that to find answers.


Secret #4 – Prepare Your Body and Brain


At its heart, speaking is a performance. You’re standing up in front of people and putting on a show.

How much you throw into that show, especially physically, is up to you.

But it’s important to prepare for what you have in store.

Robbins has a pre-speech ritual that he always follows.

This preparation starts hours before he arrives at the venue. Robbins starts his mornings with a dip into a cold pool. The aim is to wake his body up and get his mind whirring as quickly as possible.

Once he’s at the venue, he has another set of rituals. Robbins performs an array of breathing and voice exercises. He meditates and he even has a trampoline that he bounces on before hitting the stage.

All of this prepares his mind and body for the performance. And it is through the energy that he injects into his performance that he’s able to influence people.


Secret #5 – Showcase Your Passion


Robbins constantly makes the point about adding value to your speaking. You have a unique story to share with people. You want to show them what makes your speaking unique.

But you can’t do that if you have no passion for your subject.

A lack of passion means a lack of authenticity. You just recite a speech instead of making people feel what you have to say.

As Robbins says: “Don't ever speak publicly about anything that you're not passionate about and that you don't actually believe you have something truly unique to deliver.”

You can’t influence people if you don’t understand or care about the subject of your speaking. Even worse, you damage your reputation when you take a half-hearted approach. You can undo all of your hard work when you take on a speaking event that’s outside of your area of expertise. Even one dispassionate speech can cast a shadow on the rest of your work.

Know what you care about and have expertise in. That way, you can influence others because you’re more authentic.




The power of Robbins’ speaking comes from his understanding of the art of influence. He only speaks about subjects that he has knowledge and passion for. He learns about his audience and what they want. Plus, he prepares his body to ensure he delivers maximum energy when he’s on stage. On top of all of that, he constantly networks with other influencers.

But perhaps most importantly, he understands the power of words. He knows which words inspire different emotions and how to use them to influence others.

You can learn all of this and much more with Speakers Institute. We can help you to harness the power of Tony Robbins’ secrets to become a more influential speaker. Do the following to get started.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW

Because you'll make it

Bernard Kelly has always been fascinated with success. Bernard had a vision to be successful, and through his hard work and determination he was able to achieve his goals. But he wanted to share his success with others so that they could achieve their own. Through his proximity of the Speakers Institute he has been able to share his ‘success mission’ and knowledge with the world.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
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Because you crave GROWTH

Justine Pogroske has always wanted to share her message on the world stage. Justine’s message and stage presence were good but in order to be great there needed to be some changes to how she delivered and structured her message. With the help of Speakers Institute’s curriculum and frameworks she has been able to elevate her story to a whole other level!

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
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Because of your CALLING

Nelsa Clark Simmonds knows that finding your way can be tough especially when you are feeling lost. She also knows that the most important place to look first is inside yourself to harness the creativity we all have inside of us to truly heal and find our way through the darkness. By being in the proximity of Speakers Institute she has learnt to own her space!

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
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Investing in Yourself

Azriel Ferro decided she wanted to work for herself and follow her dreams. She always knew there was something inside her that she wanted to share. Azriel made a commitment to herself that she was going to follow her passions and live her dream. She realised she needed guidance so with the proximity of Speakers Institute, she realised she is capable of so much more!

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW

Am I Good Enough?

Warren Tate through his learnings at Speakers Institute has produced an Amazon Best Selling book and landed a world speaking roadshow! Proximity is power! When you are in the proximity of the right people the world changes for the better.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
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Sean's Turning Point

Sean Nicholas is a transformed man! He came to a point in his life and health that he had to change. He discovered his greater purpose to coach other men in life and health. Speakers Institute’s stable of coaches and mentors helped Sean take his message of transformation to men everywhere needing some guidance and inspiration.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW

Memory Tips

Memorising a keynote word for word is an unrealistic expectation to set for yourself.

Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you memorise the sections/chunks of your keynote and the content within each.

Your Lead Representational System.

When you know your representational system you can work out the best way for you to learn your keynote and practice it in way that helps you to memorise the chunks.


What are the Representational Systems?

Based on the research of Richard  Bandler and John Grinder representational systems describe the different channels through which humans code information internally through their senses. The main channels are visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and auditory digital.



People who are visual often stand or sit with their hands and/or bodies erect, with their eyes up. They will be breathing from the top of their lungs. They often sit forward in their chair and tend to be organized, neat, well-groomed and orderly. They memorise by seeing pictures, and are less distracted by noise. They often have trouble remembering verbal instructions because their minds tend to wander. A visual person will be interested in how something LOOKS. Appearances are important to them. They are often thin and wiry.

Visual or Seeing language:

- I get the picture

- I see what you mean

- That looks right

- Can I have a look at that?

- I can just picture it.

If you are a visual person you are best to draw the chunks of you keynote as pictures. For example, if you were to visually represent the chunk where you have a metaphor of say, you competing at the Commonwealth Games you could draw a picture of a medal.  Visual people will more easily memorise by a seeing a series of pictures.



People who are auditory will move their eyes sideways (remember Richard Nixon?). They breathe from the middle of their chest. They typically talk to themselves, and are easily distracted by noise. (Some even move their lips when they talk to themselves.) They can repeat things back to you easily, they learn by listening, and usually like music and talking on the phone. They memorise by steps, procedures, and sequences (sequentially). The auditory person likes to be TOLD how they’re doing, and responds to a certain tone of voice or set of words.

Auditory or Hearing Language:

- Listen to this

- I can hear you loud and clear

- Clear as a bell

- This sounds good

- We are on the same wavelength

- I hear you

If your lead Representational System is Auditory you are best to record your talk in chunks and listen back to them repeatedly and in order. Continue to record and listen over and over. The more you hear it the more you will recall what comes next.



People who are kinaesthetic will typically be breathing from the bottom of their lungs, so you’ll see their stomach go in and out when they breathe. They often move and talk verrry slooowly. They respond to physical rewards, and touching.

They also stand closer to people than a visual person. They memorise by doing or walking through something. They are interested in something if it ‘feels right’.

Kinaesthetic, Tactile or Feeling Language:

- That didn’t feel right

- I got a gut feeling about this

- I felt right at home

- That gave me shivers

- I cannot get a grip of this

Kinaesthetic people will learn best by actually doing the talk. The best way for them to learn it is do it. They need to practice going through it as if it’s real. From start to finish. At the beginning and end of each section you are best to take note of how you feel at that time. This feeling will be anchored to the words in that particular section just finished and lead you to what comes next. It’s all about how you feel.



This person will spend a fair amount of time talking to themselves. They will want to know if what you’re saying “makes sense”. The auditory digital person can exhibit characteristics of the other major representational systems. They memorise by having the steps and listening to the steps being repeated.

Auditory Digital Language

I’m certain

Makes good sense

Accurate representation

Results driven strategies

I get you loud and clear

Everything considered

As an auditory digital person you have a mix of listing and listening as the best tactic for you to memorise.

Record you talk in chunks. Number each section at the beginning of the recording. For example: -

‘Section 2 – the IDEA…’

When you get up to speak your will recall the information by sequence and be able to recall the sounds of the words which followed each number.


As a client of The Speakers Institute you have been given a piece of IP that is GOLD in terms of memorising.

The Authority Communication Framework, (ACF) is the basis of how to set your talk up and also a great framework for you to memorise the sequence of your talk.

Learn the ACF sentence beginnings to which will get you started on recalling the content

Have you ever felt…

I have found that…

Research tells us…

There was this one time…

Today I’m going to teach you…

Once you know the sections/chunks and you have practiced using your lead representational system you will recall each chunk and the content within each chunk.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
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STORYSHOWING - How to stand out from the storytellers


Pronounced dead for over three minutes following a horrific car crash, Sam Cawthorn survived despite all the odds stacked against him. The accident resulted in his right arm being amputated, and caused permanent damage to his right leg. He was told he would never walk again; a setback that would surely defeat many. Proving the doctors and critics wrong, through sheer determination Sam regained his ability to walk just over a year later.

Since his accident, Sam has gone on to speak in 36 countries, sharing his message of resilience with millions of people which has seen him share the stage with world leaders including Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama, through his keynote speaking.

An international best-selling author, Sam was named Young Australian of the Year, Edupreneur of the Year (2015) and became the CEO and Founder of Speakers Institute and Speakers Tribe, mentoring a community of speakers and leaders who are learning to share powerful stories to emotionally connect and influence others.

It was the notion that ‘story is the future’ that led Sam to write his seventh book Storyshowing . Published by Wiley and set to release on October 1, 2017, Storyshowing delves deep into the influence of stories; and that the winners of the future will be those that show the most powerful one that evokes the most amount of emotion in the shortest amount of time.

Storyshowing Book Cover.jpg

Along his personal journey, Sam recognised that ‘storytelling’, which is what we are all told to do to “engage”, was neither a compelling way to share and nor did it evoke action, the two things that he had set out to do. He realised that the only way to truly connect with an audience emotionally was to ‘storyshow’, revealing vulnerability and inviting listeners to share in his narrative (rather than telling it), and in turn deeply engaging people to overcome their own obstacles, turn crises into opportunities, and use positivity to succeed.

Sam explains further, “Everything we see now is telling us a story. The stories of products and services, brands and organisations; everything now is about the emotion. The next three years will shape the way we communicate for the next 30 years. The more we stop telling and start showing, at every touchpoint, will evoke emotional connection and this will be the defining moment in our value proposition.

“It is up to us leaders to be at the forefront of global connectivity through sharing and showing stories more powerfully to emotionally connect. Now is the time to stop telling stories. It’s time to show the story. The future of story is now,” Sam adds.

Storyshowing is aimed towards anyone who wants to use stories to convey an idea; to motivate, bond or impact others; and ultimately, to make a difference. It enables readers to use their own experiences and emotions as tools to build a connection with the heads and hearts of their audience – irrespective of who they may be – be it family, friends, clients, colleagues or your boss, as examples.

Readers can discover:

  1. The 5 step communication framework to influence audiences

  2. The secret ingredients that professional speakers use to inspire success

  3. The difference between content - What you say ; and Methodology - How you say it

  4. The four disruptors of the sales cycle and how to stay ahead of the curve

  5. The best body language, facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures to engage others

  6. Insider tips on sharing powerful stories in order to win hearts and minds

Storyshowing is published by Wiley and is available in bookstores nationwide & online from October 1st , 2017 RRP $19.95. To purchase a copy or to find out more on Sam Cawthorn please visit: ISBN 978-0-730-34588-6.

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
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  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW



Great stories can lead your audience/clients/customers to see both themselves and their world in new ways and have a thoughtful reflection. It has a unique power to make a meaningful impact on your audience as they appeal to their emotions, memories and imaginations.

Here are some insights you’ll need to weave into your approach of delivering your message.

• Identify and understand the outcome you are aiming for.

Your story needs to have a clear outcome for your listeners. It has to have a purpose and make a point. You should always keep in mind the information you want the audience to take away. Understanding the outcome you are aiming for allows you to craft engaging stories based around compelling messages that people want to hear about.


• Give your audience a story that is interesting, meaningful and engaging.

No matter how significant your message is, you can’t share them to your listeners effectively unless you give them reason to care for what you’ve got to say. You have to get their attention by talking about something they are interested in. Keep them on the edge of their seat to engage their hearts and minds to your story.


• Build tension and anticipation.

Make your listeners wonder ‘What will happen next?’; ‘Will you be all right?’; ‘Will there be a resolution?’; ‘Will my own problem be solved?’. To build tension, you can introduce a concept or an incident early on. The concern for the character and curiosity to know the outcome of the story will increase the reader’s anticipation to find out what happens next.


• Connect with each person in the room so they connect with you.

Offer the listener a chance to see themselves in your story. The more the audience is involved in your story, the more memorable and valuable your message becomes.


• Let the audience step into your story and remember it.

A good way to convey your message is to trigger a memory and raise a familiar, shared experience. This connects your listener’s lives to the story, thus making the story memorable.


If you take into account these five points, you give the listeners the opportunity to change perception and inspire a positive change.


If you want to know more about how to share your story powerfully, please see this up-and-coming event which has the giants of speaker training. The voice of Siri Karen Jacobson direct from New York City, Sam Cawthorn's personal coach and mentor Michael Grinder and #1 Body language expert Allan Pease among others. Check out 

  • Take me to GREENROOM. The #1OnlineHub connecting you to the world’s leading Influencers, Training and Curriculum. VISIT GREENROOM
  • Join SPEAKERS TRIBE CONFERENCE. The Ultimate Annual event for Influencers globally. APPLY TO SPEAK
  • Attend MASTERING STORYSHOWING FOR INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY last event. A free event, learning from 7 times International Best Seller and Professional Storyteller, Sam Cawthorn, learning his secrets and techniques. BOOK NOW