I flew in late Sunday night from a crazy week in Atlanta.

It got me thinking about why I’m here at Toastmasters. Why I wake up each Tuesday morning, and why I’m paying the yearly fee to be a member of Toastmasters.

I initially joined after battling brain cancer, just trying to communicate normally again, but remembering what I wanted to say was almost impossible, no matter how many speeches I’ve given here.

It’s frustrating not ever to remember what I’m trying to say.

Do any of you ever feel like this is a waste of time? That sucks! Stop doing it!

Let me tell you about the week I just had in Atlanta. I spent time with: (Open GrowStackDrive.com/Atlanta page)

John C. Maxwell LAST! 

  • John C. Maxwell – John is the No. 1 personal development author in history, and he has sold more than 24 million books in 50 languages. John flew in on his personal jet to speak for 30 minutes. Can you guess how much he was paid for that half-hour of speaking? He got a check for $100,000 for that 30-minute speech.

According to HBR.org, here’s a rule of thumb for appropriate pricing:

  • Newbie speakers might earn $500–$2,500 for a talk.
  • Beginning speakers, or those just establishing a brand with their first book, might make $5,000–$10,000.
  • Those with several books and other “social proof” forms might draw $10,000–$20,000.
  • Those who are very well-known in their field, such as best-selling authors, can bring in $20,000–$35,000 per talk.

Why are you here? Please do me a favor real quick… Put your head down, close your eyes. Take a big deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Again. Breathe In. Breathe Out.

You’re about to walk on stage at a major event. You’re speaking about something you know well, and there’s a large crowd waiting anxiously to hear your insight.

You have a notebook with a few bullet points, and maybe there’s a screen behind the audience with talking points you’d like to cover.

You’re a bit nervous in front of this massive crowd, but as you finish speaking, the crowd gives a standing ovation. They LOVED your talk! You’re on top of the world! 

As you exit the stage & enter the green room, the event host hands you a check for $5,000. You only spoke for 15 minutes.

The morning talks finish up & you’re invited to the VIP lunch, separate from the crowd. There are only about 30 people in the room, and the food is incredible. You’re sitting next to some of your heroes, hanging out and chatting as if you’d known each other for years.

You realize these heroes are just like you. They’re just ordinary folks who accomplished some cool stuff and became excellent speakers! Some of them are earning millions of dollars MONTHLY just talking about what they love! 

As the second day of the event finishes up, you’re invited to a VIP dinner with other speakers & influential people who are dying to meet you. Don’t worry. The filet mignon is free, and the drinks are covered. All you need to do is show up, rub elbows & maybe autograph some books.

Open your eyes!

Every single one of you is a better speaker than I am. So what is your excuse for not turning your natural ability into the career of your dreams?