So I never really know what goes on backstage. People pretty much just tell me this is the job, this is where I need to be, this is the audience and boom, it happens. When it comes to how those opportunities show up, I pretty much stay out of that part of it and focus on my job, which is to perform. So, Dawn, how does it happen?
Dawn: A lot of people ask us about getting speaking jobs. Bo always says if you show up and give it all you got, you’re going to get another speech. The opportunities will just keep coming. We haven’t had to do a lot of marketing. I don’t ever have to pick up the phone and promote him because I know when he takes the stage he’s going to do his job and someone’s going to ask me about hiring him. We’re fortunate that way and it’s because of all the hard work he puts in.
There are a few things we do before he hits the stage. We find out how many people are going to be there, what they do for a living and what they’re looking to get out of the speech. Are they selling something, do they deal with clients in a group or one-on-one, etc. Basically anything we can do to refine his message about storytelling and leadership so that it applies to what they’re doing day-to-day is really important.
As far as logistics go, we always want to make sure he’s introduced powerfully, his introduction video is ready to go, the right music is playing when he takes the stage, etc. These may seem like small things but they make all the difference. There were a few times when I allowed him to speak during dinner. That did not go well.
Bo: Spoons were banging. Do you know how long it takes to deliver a great moment? And it could all be ruined by dessert spoon. Dawn is a real stickler about how my stage is set up, making sure I have enough warm-up time, which they never want me to have because apparently most speakers out there don’t warm up.
Dawn: But we’ll just find a window to do it anyway so he can activate his body, preset his notes and get ready. If you are giving a seminar or speech, it’s really important you take that time. If it’s just too busy the day of, get there the day before.
There are a couple of other things we do that are different from other speakers. A lot of them fly in, do their speech and fly out. We come in early to listen to the other sessions so Bo can get a feel for the vibe in the room. How is the audience reacting? What is the energy like? That helps him know if he has to shift that energy dramatically or build on it.
The other thing is we always stay and go to any cocktail or VIP reception afterwards together. So it’s really just taking the extra time to spend with the attendees and that’s usually when additional business takes place.
Bo: You really want to feel the pulse of the room. People can feel the difference of someone who is there to share, train and interact with them as opposed to just being in it for themselves. What am I getting out of this? No. That’s not the mentality.