In just 5 months, Chris Baldwin was named the fastest growing speaker in 2018 and the #1 in the top 10 speakers in the Netherlands. He now charges upwards of $15,000 for each keynote engagement and has been the speaker of choice for Google, Microsoft, and many other Fortune 500 companies. Chris shares the mindset and steps he took along this journey to become a top keynote speaker.
Speaking nation, what’s happening? Welcome to another episode of public speaking secrets. I’m your host Victor Ahipene, and we’ve got the second part with second part of this episode with Chris Baldwin, who is being on a meteoric rise in the speaking world. And if you haven’t checked out the first part of this two part series and I highly recommend there are some absolute gold nuggets, nuggets in there for everyone who has an aspiring or currently successful speaker to be able to leverage and grow a really effectively, some really, really, uh, awesome things that I’ve actually taken down myself that I’ll be moving forward. So welcome back, Chris.
Thanks Victor. Thanks for having back.
Well, I wanted to touch on today, uh, we spoke about last week your, you’re different mindsets and we could only really just touch on them. So I wanted to deep dive a bit more into, you said you’ve got seven mindsets of a speaker and I’d love it if you could share with our audience, uh, you know, either all of those or you know, whatever you have the at the time to, to share with us with.
Yeah. So, you know, when I started, ah, as a professional speaker, literally trying to build a career through speaking or at least you speaking as a vehicle, as a medium to build a business, to build a consultancy, to build whatever, whatever’s behind the speaking. Because it’s never about speaking itself. Speaking is just a channel on how to communicate. It’s about, you know, why you speaking in the first place. And um, and you know, I decided I’m a strategist and I like, um, I understand that life is all about choices. You know, there’s only two things you have to do in life. You can’t get out of two things and one of them is die. We all have to die. And you know, there are, there are silicon valley startups to solve for that problem. Yeah. Uh, you know, eventually we’re going to be uploading the cloud and be immortalized and all of that. Yup. Um, and the other one is make choices. You can’t get out and making choices. And even if you don’t choose, you still make me a choice. You’re choosing for someone else to choose for you. And that my tedtalk is actually the choice is yours. It’s all about this. It’s all about the choices we make when we adopt the technology into our lives and our organizations. And this is our choice. You know, we complain about Facebook taking too much of our time, but it’s our choice, our choice to spend time on Facebook. And I’m, when you can start to realize that everything comes down to choices, then sort of what turned into my head was, well, if I can choose, most of the time when we slow down, it’s, it’s our inability to choose. And so we outsource that to somebody else. And then that makes us unhappy because someone else is controlling us. But what if we could I actually have a framework, a decision making framework that helps us choose very quickly. Do I say yes? Do I say no? Do I go left? Do I go right? And then all of a sudden it becomes very clear and you get clarity in your mind and you know that whatever, whatever choices you make, it adheres to these, to these values, these beliefs that you have. And so this, I developed the seven mindsets of this as a decision making framework to help me move quickly. And um, and I’ll, I’ll cover them. There’s seven, there’s a big story behind each of them. So just feel free to pop in and ask any questions as we’re going through them. The first one, it’s really identifying who is the customer, who is your client as a speaker. And I think that’s where most people, most speakers that I spoken to, at least the starting ones, a habit habit the wrong way round. They think that the audience, I think it’s the audience, but the audience that’s got nothing to do with it. You’ll UNC the product. The ordinance is a product. You’re delivering information into their heads in order to make them better, in order to drive results in their business, in their lives. It’s the product you’re creating, your client, your customer is the event producer. It’s the event manager, it’s the event coordinator. It’s the people putting on the event. They are the ones paying you the money. And so the first mindset is make the event manager. There’s life as easy and pleasant as possible. Literally make them happy, like make, make their life so easy and so pleasant that they’d have no choice but to invite you back. They have no choice but to recommend you to other event managers. I mean I want them to say Chris is a, is a dream to work with. If you need a speaker, just call Chris like no problem, he’ll do it. Mm. And what happens? That’s exactly what happens. They call me back, I get to speak at, at their other events. I get to speak again in year two and year three and it’s one, one of the events I’m speaking, I’ve just spoken at the third year and I was the emcee for the event and its allowed just digital marketing events in the Netherlands. So, um, uh, oh there’s another thing to it but I can’t actually release that because that’s actually, there is like a step way above that but I just can’t say it. Sorry. Uh, and so, so make the event managers life as easy and pleasant as possible. And, and that is, um, that is my first mindset. My second mindset is make you speak right you in as successful as possible because your speaker agent has a much larger network than you do. And generally when speakers don’t turn up at events, you know, they, they, they get caught up in traffic, they get the flights get canceled, they get sick, uh, you know, and all sorts of things happen and, and so and so you need to be, um, top of mind both for the event manager, right? They can call you last minute, you’ll come in, but also for your speaker agent, because event managers, if they don’t know you yet, they’ll, they’ll call an agent because agents have a large network of speakers. And so you want to be top of mind for your agents. You need to be in those unit. Actually, you know, generally an agent will propose three speakers, but you need to be so good for them that they actually canceled the other. The other two, all they’ll do is propose you because you’ve got this mindset. Make your speaker agent as successful as possible. Okay. Um, this comes from, um, um, I talk about meaningful connections a lot. In our last episode, we covered that, you know, how to build meaningful connections and really, really trust is the big thing now. I mean there’s trust and respect are the two key components of a relationship and building trust. His is so critical now in this digital ecosystem where people aren’t trusting anybody. And you build trust by one simple thing. And that is by acting in the other person’s best interest. That’s how you build trust. So if you act in your agent’s best interest, you develop trust with them and they’ll just simply, there is no choice here at it’s, you are, you are the speaker, they will present and the, and the event manager will see, oh my God, it’s just given me one. Yeah. Because that, that is who I want to speak there. And it just, it just all works out when you have this mindset and um, and you can see, I um, um, when I say this, I really mean it. Like it’s not just words like literally you will do, you will go, you know, you will travel across the other side of the world and catch a flight within 30 minutes like that, that, and you, you know, every choice has a trade off. Like every choice has a tradeoff. The bigger the trade off, the bigger the choice. And so when you don’t have to make a trade off, there is no choice being made. And sometimes the trade off is quite big. You know, you might have to leave your family behind, you might have to lose a big piece of business. Like one of them was I had choice between a Free Gig and a $20,000 Gig and I chose the three gig. I left $20,000 on the table, but I didn’t just leave it on the table. Now I had $20,000 of value that I gave to my agent. I said, hey, I have a gig here. It can pay $20,000. I have to do another gig. It’s six hours away. It was on the same day. It was a six hour. Um, it was, um, it was a six hour drive. I basically couldn’t make both events. And so I went to my agent, I said, hey, how about you take this and find another speaker for it? I can recommend one. And I did and he got the Gig and my agent got a 25% commission. How does that make my agents feel? Yeah, that’s crazy. Right? And like that, that sort of stuff. But sometimes you have to make a trade off. You know when you make a choice.
I think one of the big things there is you make your agent, you make the event organizer, you know the top priority and it’s human nature is take the path of least resistance. So if they know that, all right, I’m going to put Chris or I’m going to put Victor Ford, he’s gonna say no problem. He’s going to turn up, he’s going to do a good job. I know that there’s going to be no kickbacks. And I know like, yeah, there’s not going to be the event organizer blowing up because he didn’t perform on the stage or he was a drama queen back stage or you know, there was all these logistical issues or whatever it is. It’s like, I know once I’ve sent that person, they’re going to do an awesome job. They’re going to get repeat business. It makes my life easier. Like, yeah. They don’t want, they don’t care a fuel the person on shark tank who’s the most sought after person. If you’re gonna make their life a Bain that like, oh this is too hard. Or you know, they’re going to have to go back and forth with seven emails saying can you actually move them to the third day instead of the first day in all the cause it’s, it’s, they just want their, they want to put someone that’s going to reflect them well, but they also want someone that, okay, here’s this name. You should take them. They’re going to be great. Thanks for my commission. That’s awesome. Everyone’s happy. Yeah. Happy days. And that’s why I really liked when you said the no problems guide because yeah. I, I I even remember, yeah. Working in say physiotherapy clinics years ago. And I always went by the thing of don’t make the reception or the front desk staff jobs hot. Like don’t be the person who throws something. Yeah. A spanner in the works for no thing because they make your life easier, exponentially if you make it. And it was always the case. I was never the one that they were like, oh, this person. Yeah, I don’t like victories a, he’s a pain. They’re always like, oh victor, we put this new patient and with you, you know, and they’re always going to choose you because they know you’ve given them a good experience. So yeah, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll let you carry on. I just wanted to add that that path of least resistance I find that was always ends up trumps.
problem for everybody including yourself.: So that story journaling, that’s one of the components that I teach in the trainings that I give and it’s story journaling is, is critical. You know, when, when those ideas that you have often in the shower or at the gym or on a run and five minutes later you completely lost it. Like, what was it again? You know, it’s just lost. And so you need to journal when you get these ideas, when you’ve, you know, you’re in a story and all of a sudden you’ve got this great metaphor, great point noted down. So use Evernote for that and a and have a hold of really, um, active story journal in Evernote. Um, by the way, I just remembered the third thing, I’ll have to have three that was energized, energized, and uh, energized because that’s, you know, when you think about you at an event and you need to be present, right presence, that’s what a speaker wants. That’s what the audience wants. We were here, we’ve taken time out of our day. It’s really about the, now it’s in the event and with social media now you’re hyper connected. You can easily go into your phone and go into your email and go into business calls and you’re not present anymore. [inaudible] um, the second one was inspired and that’s really about what are you going to do tomorrow, you know, what are you going to, what are you going to do? Why? Like why are you here? What can this mean for your life, for your business, and inspire them to take some sort of, to change something in the future. Right? And the third one is energized. And this was, um, I chose this word because, um, people need energy to change. You know, it’s often like, I know I need to be doing this, but, and it’s not even motivation. It’s not even motivation because motivation is acquired through the development of progress. You need progress to get motivated not of this. You don’t need to motivate people. Progress motivates people. In order to get progress, you need, you need to take action. And so that’s why this third word energized is that I want people to try something different tomorrow. That’s why most of my keynotes stuck with think different. It starts with thinking different and then doing differently. And that’s how you change things. And for that you need energy for that. You need courage for that. You need, you need to be able to do stuff. And um, and so I want people to feel energized. I want to feel people to feel like when they leave this event, they’re going to start, they’re going to take notes, they’re going to start changing something immediately. Um, so those are the, those are the three feelings I want to be synonymous with. Uh, when I opened my mouth, it’s as simple as that. Like keep this simple. It’s not rocket science. Um, so going back to the mindsets, uh, the, the sixth one is always finish on time. Yeah. And I’ve been branded now as a speaker that finishes on the second and I literally finish on the second. I take that too far sometimes by literally finishing on the second. And um, I did that back in December and I didn’t like what I did. I actually looked at the people, look at the clock and I’m telling the sentence as they know, I finish on time and I was looking at them and then it didn’t become, it wasn’t about the audience anymore, it was about finishing on time. And I just took it a little bit too fast. So now I, I learned from that and I quickly iterated, but always finish on time because when you don’t, you create a problem for the event manager, you create a problem for the audience because there are followup sessions, there are people have done stuff to do and who are you to take an extra two minutes or five minutes of their time? Time’s a thousand by the way, if there’s a thousand people in the room. Yeah. And so always finish on time on the second if you can within a few seconds, like 10, 15 second margin is the maximum I’ll give myself. And I’m, and this comes really from, from my dad, like he died last, uh, November that, that’s a story in itself. Uh, one cover just now, but it’s a story relating to speaking and you know, I grew up in Vanawatu and those islands can be pretty small. He was chief part of the fun of my two airlines for 26 years. So he was flying around all these islands. I flew with him a lot. And, um, and some of these airstrips spend the whole length of the island, like from one side to the other. That is the airstrip. It’s grass. And so when he lands those planes, he has to land exactly on time. If he lands 30 seconds too early, he lands in the ocean. If he lands 30 seconds too late, he lands in the ocean. He needs to land exactly on time. And so I took that mindset with me to speaking always finish on time. Um, otherwise you create a
: That’s brilliant. Well, I think that is, oh yeah. I’d highly recommend for everybody, rewind us. Listen to what, again, jump over to public speaking blueprint.com. Grab the show notes, write them down and more importantly, checkout checkout Chris because he’s walking the walk and talking the talk. At the moment I’ve been following your social media. I’ve been, you know, seeing all of these things when, when we were leading up to this episode and your website and, and everything you’ve talked about, you’re out there doing, you’re in the trenches. This stuff is working at the moment and you’re just like building the confidence to speak. Yeah. Having a framework and, and systems for any part, whether you’re learning to speak when you’re learning to scale, whether you’re learning to take it to the next level. Having those frameworks and those systems that allow you to make those decisions and be authentic to yourself and do what you feel is best for you to take. The next step is super important. So I thank you so much for, for sharing that and I just want to welcome you to our speaker nation family. If people want to find out more about you, what you’ve been up to and follow along on your journey, where can they go and what can they do?
: Oh, so the best place is a for me is linkedin, Facebook and Instagram. And I document a lot of the stuff. I share a lot of the stuff. Actually most of the time now I’m, I’m usually the opening keynote speaker or the host moderator and I get access to pretty much unlimited tickets. So if you follow me, there’s an event in Amsterdam coming up next month where I’ve got VIP passes pretty well, unlimited passes except for the, the, the, the room only takes a thousand people. So once we go over that we won’t be to anymore. Um, but generally I’ll give a low, I’ll give out a lot of free passes so that that’ll be an opportunity for me, for you to also meet me and for me to introduce you to the event producer, which may score you a Gig in future.
: they go everyone meaningful connections or we will leave it at that. I’ll link all of that at public speaking, blueprint.com all the links back to uh, all your, all your, uh, different social media platforms and ways to, to get in touch and follow you but appreciate all your time. You’ve been super generous with this two part episode. If you ignored me at the start of this and you haven’t gone back to listen to the first one, then I highly recommend you do. And I’m sure you are now more than sold on the message to, to go back and check that last episode out. But thanks again Kristen. It’s a, I look forward to touching base when they’re, and the same part of the world, wherever that may be. Yeah, Victoria, it’s been a pleasure and a, I know we’re on opposite sides of the world, but it’s been a pleasure, you know, reconnecting with, ah, with an Ozzie. Hopefully we’ll get to shake hands sometimes thing. Look forward to it. Cheers.