Category Archives for "Build Your Expert Business"


Planning Your Presentation – How to Go from Idea to Finished Presentation Quickly and Easily

In this video, you’ll discover a simple step-by-step process that takes you from vague ideas to a final presentation in a short period of time.

It’s very helpful if have to get ready for an upcoming:

* webinar or teleseminar
* podcast or video
* Facebook Live
* live workshop or speaking engagement
* one-to-one business presentation

Or, if you’d like to upgrade an existing presentation.




Download this Handout for that goes with this video.


Need Customized Help Right Away to Create Your Presentation?

Apply for Personal Coaching with Carla Rieger


ONLINE COURSES: For more in depth help to create presentations, marketing yourself as a presenter, craft stories and build your confidence as a presenter, check out our online courses.




Fear of Failure

The #1 Way to Overcome a Fear of Failure

Do you find yourself procrastinating?

Are you frustrated because you’re not getting the success you want?

If you have your own business, often procrastination is a symptom of a deeper issue. It can be about fear of failure. If you don’t succeed because you never properly tried, it’s less painful than if you put your heart and soul into it and THEN you fail. As a result, a subconscious part of you might be intentionally sabotaging your forward movement in order to protect you from that pain.

Most people have an inner committee of voices with various roles, somewhat like the management team of a company. For example, you might have:

  1. The CEO with the vision to succeed.
  2. PUBLIC RELATIONS who ensures you have a good image and reputation in the world.
  3. The AUDITOR whose job is quality control.
  4. SECURITY who’s job it is to keep you safe.

If the CEO’s vision puts you at risk for failure, which could lead to a loss of self esteem, then SECURITY might block your success. Make sense?

It’s very challenging to change this kind of self sabotage at the conscious level. You need to change it at the subconscious level where these archetypal voices reside. Usually, people fear failure in an area where they made a mistake in the past and suffered negative consequences. Then they are afraid to try again. Often, the way to transform that fear is to go back to that incident, with a wiser perspective, and a more forgiving heart, and free yourself up from the bonds of that fear.

You can do that:

  1. On your own through your imagination and intention, which is far more powerful than most people believe.
  2. Through journalling and automatic writing.
  3. Through listening to a guided meditation that prompts your imagination to go back in time and re-educate SECURITY.

The idea here is to stop SECURITY from sabotaging your progress by exploring an outcome that ensures your safety while also allowing your goals and visions to come to fruition.


FREE DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO: If you’d like a free audio to guide you through the process, check out The Overcoming Fear of Failure Process.  


CONFIDENCE GOLD COURSE: If you’d like to explore a number of tools including self hypnosis, guided meditations, journalling, automatic writing, cognitive re-structuring and more check out Confidence Gold: How to Win the Inner Game of Giving Presentations.





Storytelling: The #1 Way to Create Rapport with Your Prospects

The #1 way to create rapport and emotional connection is… become a GREAT storyteller.  It’s one of the most powerful communication tools to grow your business quickly. Whether you present your offers 1-to-1 or to groups, and whether it’s online or offline, a story will capture attention like nothing else.

Here’s an example

One of my clients, Patty, was a financial planner and mindset coach. She was feeling burned out by her marketing efforts. They weren’t working and she was waking up wondering if it was all really worth it. Do you ever get like that?

She was close to calling it quits. Then we worked together to explore her purpose, her mission and her WHY for doing her business.  Through questioning and introspection we were able to dig down to her core purpose. That alone revived her motivation. Then we explored her “back story” on her purpose that she could share with prospective clients.

Her mission, purpose and WHY was to free people from worrying about finances so they could enjoy their lives and relationship so much more. Then I asked her to tell me her “back story” on that. I asked such questions as,

  • What happened to make that true?
  • Why have you chosen this business focus over all the other ones you could have chosen?
  • What happened in your childhood, or during your formative years?
  • What was a challenge you overcame that made you passionate about this?

She started telling me about coming from a family that argued when money was tight. Sound familiar? When money was good, they were happy together. Her parents got along, the kids got attention, and they did outings together. When money was tight they argued, the kids felt neglected and they didn’t do anything fun together.

As a child, she made a strong decision that she would grow up to be financially free. That way those negative experiences wouldn’t happen to her. Guess what happened? When she started her own family, she noticed a similar pattern. Arguing when money was tight, and happiness when money was good. She then realized that it wasn’t so much the money, as the feeling behind the money. That was about feeling secure, and like she could live the life she wanted.

A mentor taught her that in addition to learning how to run a profitable business, she needed to learn how to run a prosperous mind. Patty learned how to generate feelings of security, choice and abundance and noticed that helped attract the actual life of prosperity she wanted. It was such a revelation to her that she taught this principle to her family. It made a difference. Then she taught it to her clients, and it became her differentiating factor. Her tagline became We help families become financially free inside and out.

Patty wrote out and memorized a version of that story, and started telling it to people individually and during public speaking opportunities. She also used it on her website, in blog posts and in her social media profiles. Instead of being just one more financial planner, she was not highlighting this unique focus. It attracted like-minded people, so her business filled up with people who had similar values and were open to mindset expansion. Her passion ignited a passion in others, and her client base exploded.


3 benefits of WHY Stories

#1 – Prospects like, know and trust you more: Because your WHY story includes your mission, values and purpose, they tend to like, know and trust you more. That is, of course, if they are a good fit for your offerings.

#2 – Stories help bypass people’s objections: Stories bypass the discriminatory, judgmental mind. Most people have their guard up when listening to offers from salespeople. When they listen to your story they listen from the imaginative part of the brain. That way they are less likely to overlay a previous bad experience with someone else, onto you.  In addition, it makes them more open to new possibilities for their life.

#3 – Stories make you more memorable. Have you ever been to a business presentation that was all facts and theories — boring, right? People hear facts from the logical part of their brain, where the short term memory resides. They hear stories from the imaginative part of the brain, where the long term memory resides. Your prospects don’t need to know every single fact and feature. They want to know WHY they should take an interest. When you tell them your WHY story, it stirs their imagination so they can see themselves getting the benefits of your offer.


How Can I Create a WHY Story?

Here’s some first steps. By the way, you can create a WHY story on more than one aspect of your business, such as one on a particular product or service, and one on your overall business mission.


Ask yourself 3 questions.


  1. Why do you love the products or services you offer so much?
  2. What made you choose to focus so much time and attention on this business as opposed to all the other possible things you could be doing with your time?
  3. What is your ultimate vision that this business is helping you achieve? What is at the deep core of what drives you?”

Make notes, and then pick one of those WHYs: the one that has the biggest importance for you today. Now this is still in concept form and my question to you is “what is your backstory on that?”

  • What happened to make that true?
  • Why have you chosen this business over all the other ones you could have chosen?
  • What happened in your childhood, or during your formative years?
  • Was there a challenge you overcame that made you passionate about this?

Are you now excited and can’t wait to start telling people your WHY story?  Or, is something is holding you back? Maybe you are afraid that your story won’t be good enough.  Maybe you have never done anything like this before and you just need more help to get it done.

No worries, help is on the way. Check out my FREE webinar on:

Storytelling in Business:

7 Tips for Increasing Your Referrals, Income and Success

Here you will find a step-by-step process for creating your WHY story, and how to use metaphors, examples and anecdotes to magnetize ideal prospects.

You can do this! Learn how to reach people’s heart with your story and your business will flourish. Choose today to create one new story, and you will be so thankful you did.


Do you already have a great WHY story? If so, how do you use it and how as it helped your business grow? If not, what questions do you have about this topic? Feel free to add your comments below.





Paid Speaking versus Platform Speaking

If you want to know how to use public speaking to grow your business, here’s an important distinction to understand. In the meetings industry there are two types of speakers: Paid Speakers and Platform Speakers. So what’s the difference? Let’s take a look.

Platform speakers don’t get paid to speak but sometimes promote something or are wanting to share an important message.  In other words, for all their efforts to prepare and deliver the speech, the meeting planner allows them to talk about an idea that’s important to them, a product, service or opportunity that the audience might want to buy into. Of course, if you host a free event yourself then you are the “meeting planner”.

Approximately 90% of speakers in the meetings industry are platform speakers. These kinds of speakers might be simply giving back to their association, doing a pro bono for a charity organization, sharing an idea worth spreading like in a TEDx talk, promoting the company they work for, enrolling a coaching program, selling tickets to an upcoming event or registering people for an online program, and more.

Generally, paid speakers are paid to speak and don’t sell anything (except perhaps a book) during their presentations. They might be a keynote speaker, a breakout session speaker, a trainer, a facilitator, online presenter or an after dinner speaker.

Platform Speakers

The reason the vast majority of speakers are platform speakers is because there are no barriers to entry. Anyone can do it. And because of that, the quality level can vary. By contrast, there are huge barriers to entry for paid speakers. For someone to pay you $5,000 or $10,000 to speak at an event, you have to have an excellent track record, be well vetted, and be draw for people to attend the event.

A common question I get from platform speakers is “How can I get paid in to speak?” in hopes of making more income. Now even though earning $5,000 per speech sounds like a lot of money, good platform speakers can make far more. For example, platform speakers such as Tony Robbins, Suze Orman or Mark Victor Hansen will earn 100x more per speech because of the programs they sell on the back end of their speech.  Alternatively, they endorse others and earn a commission.

Here are examples of Platform Speaking opportunities my private coaching clients have had.

  1. An image consultant spoke at a women’s entrepreneurial event for 20 minutes for free and ended up getting 23 women on her list to receive tips on how to dress for success. Three of them ended up becoming clients which meant $15,000 income.
  2. An expert in personality testing gave a breakout session at a safety conference which led to $33,000 in consulting fees.
  3. A leadership expert actually paid $45,000 to speak on the same stage as a few celebrity speakers like Tony Robbins. His audience was over 11,000 people. Six percent of the audience bought his $1497 program which came to just under $1 million dollars in income. He had to give 50% of his earnings to the meeting planner, so he took home about $500,000. Not bad for a 90 minute talk.

I’ve also had coaching clients who’ve sold nothing. They’ve put in all that effort, traveled to the venue, put their heart, soul and pocketbook on the line and have come back empty handed. In some cases, they made  just enough to cover a hotel room for one night. That’s the risk with Platform Speaking.

The other great thing about Platform Speaking is that you can make a longer lasting difference for people. No matter how great a speaker you are, a 90 minute talk is not going to change people’s lives. It will only create awareness. For real change to occur, people usually need on-going support in the form of coaching, educational programs, a workshop series, mentoring, or being part of community of people helping to move them forward. Offering a deeper dive for people who are interested is a great service to your audience. How many times have you heard a speaker and wanted more from them, but they had nothing else to offer? Audience members appreciate speakers who have created longer term, high quality education or products or support for them to really get lasting change.

In summary, here are the pros and cons of Platform Speaking.

The PROS are:

  • lower barrier to entry
  • more opportunities to speak
  • an opportunity to make far more income than from paid speaking
  • the chance to make a bigger difference for your listeners

The CONS are:

  • you must create something of value to sell to your audience
  • you risk putting in all that effort, time and money to speak for possibly little or no return
  • you need to learn how to effectively sell from the stage with integrity (or you can turn people off)
  • there is generally less respect for platform speakers because people who do it badly give it bad name

I try to help people with in my Coaching Programs to become top paid or platform speakers because I’ve been successful at both. During this coaching program, I help you truly understand your audience needs, create a speech that both provides value for those who don’t buy, but also sells to those who want more. In addition, you get help to find speaking engagements in front of ideal audience members. Then I help you write and rehearse your speech, and act as your performance coach to ensure you “hit it out of the park” when you get that golden opportunity.

Paid Speakers

Paid speakers only make up about 10% of speakers on the circuit. Event planners are willing to pay a speaker for one or two reasons:

#1 is your ability to deliver a message that will stick with people for days or even weeks to come

#2 is to drive registration

If you have celebrity status in your niche this helps a lot. For example, Bill Clinton once got paid $200,000 to speak back in the 1990’s. And Donald Trump once got $1 million to speak at a real estate event.  The event organizers will pay that kind of money because it drives registration. People attend the event just to hear them speak, and so ideally the costs are covered. Other kinds of celebrity speakers are Olympic Medalists, TV or Movie stars, Nobel Prize Winners, Bestselling Authors, CEOs of big companies, politicians, industry mavericks, etc.

If you are good at #1 above, then fees range from $100 to $7500. If you wish to make $10,000 or more as a paid speaker, you have to have celebrity status, even if it’s just in a certain industry. Here are ways to become a celebrity in your niche. Become a sought after advisor to people in your industry through blog posts, books, YouTube videos, or getting mentioned in news reports as an expert. Generally, however, unless you establish huge celebrity cache, it will be difficult to earn as much as a top platform speaker does.

In summary, here are the pros and cons of Paid Speaking.

The PROS are:

  • no need to invest in something to of value to upsell to your audience
  • you have assured income for all that effort, time and money you invest to be a good speaker
  • no need to learn how to sell from the stage
  • you are often given more respect as a paid speaker

The CONS are:

  • higher barrier to entry
  • less opportunities to speak
  • less income potential
  • you are exchanging time for money, so it’s like a job (you can only take so many gigs a year)
  • you can only create awareness in your listeners versus a longer lasting difference
  • you need to be out on the road much more often (which could be a pro or a con)

I did paid speaking only for 13 years and it meant doing a minimum of 40 engagements a year to cover by business expenses and income needs, and sometimes went up to 100 a year. Many of those engagements meant getting on a plane and being away from home many days or weeks per month. It felt glamorous at first, but then the cost to that lifestyle started to take it’s toll. It can affect your family life, friendships, extra curricular activities, and health.

I now do both platform and paid speaking and now both online and offline, so that I can stay home and still be delivering my expertise. I think all speakers should learn to do both paid and platform and do both live and online speaking, because the more diversified you are as a speaker the more on-going income you will have. Periodically the meetings industry takes a nosedive economically, and that leaves a lot of paid speakers high and dry. If you also have passive income products and other streams of income, you can get through the downtimes. I’ve been in the industry since 1988 and I’ve seen it bust and boom many times over.


Want to learn how to get speaking engagements? This is for either paid or platform speakers.

Check out my FREE webinar entitled, “How to Get LUCRATIVE Speaking Engagements


What have I forgotten? Do you do platform or paid speaking or both? Why did you choose one over the other? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Get Sponsors to Pay You to Speak

Have you ever heard this from a meeting planner, “We don’t pay speakers”?  AND then they also expect you to pay for your own travel to the event and maybe even pay to attend the event! How can speaking possibly increase your business and income, then?

Consider working with a sponsor. It’s a multi billion dollar industry. There are people who work for companies whose job it is to find innovative ways to promote their offers, and speakers are one powerful way to do that. You just negotiate a win-win agreement with them and then you can bypass the meeting planner in terms of fee.

In the very beginning, all speakers start out speaking for free. It’s like being an apprentice or practicing at an open mic. Everyone needs to do it in the beginning, to work out the glitches; and see what works with an actual audience and what bombs. But any speaker who’s made the effort to offer value to an audience, should be able to graduate to either paid speaking or an opportunity to promote their products and services while speaking. That way all your efforts and years of training pay you back. Don’t fall into the trap of continually speaking for free with no return.

Anyone who speaks knows how much time, energy and money goes into the researching, writing, and marketing of a professional public speaking career. If you’ve worked hard, you delivered great value for an audience, then you deserve compensation. A happy audience makes the meeting planner look great.

Speakers are the heart and soul of a meeting and they need to be compensated

One of the main reasons that meeting planners say they can’t pay good speakers, is often because they don’t know how to build their budgets through sponsors. In those cases, it behooves you to go directly to the sponsor. In the past, the hardest part about getting sponsorship was the lack of a central place where sponsors and speakers can connect. The good news is there is now a service called “Speaker Sponsor” to help you do that.  Sponsors go there to find speakers that specifically pertain to their sponsorship initiatives. So, check it out and see if it makes sense to list yourself there.

How do I get a sponsor to cover my fee? 

Companies will sponsor your speaking fee if it makes sense for them to be associated with your message. Here are the steps:

  1. Think of what kinds of groups would want to be associated with your message. For example, one speaker I worked with helps business owners sell their business. Wealth management companies have sponsored his talk. Another speaker has a decluttering business and so a chain of thrift stores sponsored her talk. A third speaker is a writer of family histories and got an online genealogy service to sponsor her talks. I often do entertaining keynote speeches on how to create a culture of fun and at work. Incentive travel companies have sponsored several of my talks. Because, one of the ways you can create more fun and recognition in your company is to send them on a trip together.   Think of any company that needs exposure to your target audience. Make a big, long list. Then…
  2. Go online and research your top 3 choices. Find someone to contact in the public relations department. Often meeting planners have called me to say they want me to speak, but they have to wait until a sponsor comes in to cover my fee. If I go in and help close the sponsorship deal, it’s a win-win-win. If you have any background in getting sponsors for events use this to your favour— even if they are just covering part of your fee, it it can make a difference to the meeting planner choosing you over another speaker. Your topic doesn’t have to directly relate to their product or service. If you are creating a positive, uplifting experience for your audience, people will associate the good feeling with the sponsor.
  3. Create a pitch to the PR department. Think through what you want to say in terms of how to make it a win-win. Try to figure out what they need and decide what you need to make it work.
  4. Once you get them on the phone, ask lots of questions and listen first to see what kinds of initiatives they are working on. Then, fit your pitch into their marketing initiatives. Be open to negotiating the offer to make it work for them.
  5. Create a sponsor page on your site. Some speakers go so far as to create a page on their website for meeting planners to find, contact and secure sponsors to cover their fee. The more ways you can help the meeting planner win, the more likely they will want to work with you and not just once but many times over.


If you’d like more tips and tools for getting paid to speak at events, check out this free video tutorial and worksheet entitled “How to Get Lucrative Speaking Engagements“.