Having a Champion Mindset

Ever since the creation of time we’ve witnessed a natural competitiveness that’s driven mankind to do many bad things and also good things in their need to learn how to win.

With the advancement of online coaching, nowadays it looks like everybody has some secret to express about developing the best mindset so that they can win.

What separates a winner from a loser? Sometimes a fraction of a second, sometimes a tiny lapse in thought while others a simple lack of desire. 

For a long time, we have been studying the steps involved in winning and many have spoken, taught or coached about the reasoning behind how to get started. Simply draw a line in the sand and move over the line. It is a great concept and one that certainly starts your journey – but if it were as simple as that we would not see so many failed business start ups.

As we analyse success, the authentic true grit, bit between your teeth success we know that there is some personality traits that cause success.

In fact, as we study the concept more, what we see is that the desire to get to the finish line has more to do with success than the ability to take the 1st step. 

Of course, concerning a mindset, we simply cannot end until we have begun, so stepping over the start line is crucial. But what about getting to the summit on the mountain? What about finishing the Ironman Ultramarathon? What about getting your business to profitability?

Most of these successes speak more to the finish line than they do the start line.

So perhaps, in looking at the deep secrets of success, the starting step pales in to insignificance when compared to the finishing step. The ultimate foot on the summit of Mount Everest.

If you study endurance athletes the concept often referenced is “don’t stop”. When your body is screaming that it is in pain and everything in your mind is battling with your will to keep going, the important aspect is to not stop.

Famed endurance runner Ray Zahab talks of this concept in his first ultra marathon event which he decided would be in the Arctic. 

Not being a runner and not being familiar with arctic conditions did not deter Ray but it did lead him to taking equipment that was inferior compared to his competitors. Ray became nervous on the start line and sure enough within the first several kilometres of what was to be a long event through the night, Ray quit. At least for a short while. He sat on a tree stump in frigid arctic temperatures and cried. His equipment was short of requirements, it was his first event and, as an amateur, he was lined up against pro ultra marathoners backed by major corporations. 

What Ray came to realize during the brief moment of pitying himself was his desire to succeed could get him the next 100m. After that he knew he could do another 100m. What he could not believe was that he could run the full distance in snow shoes. 

So gradually 100m by 100m Ray moved and didn’t stop. In the early morning hours, he arrived at the small warming hut by the finish line. It was deserted and while Ray was happy to have taken the last step on the finish line, he was disappointed that he missed the festivities and everyone had left. 

As he was recapping his adventure and how he could improve in future events, the custodian of the cabin came out to congratulate him on his first place finish. Ray had just won his first ever Ultramarathon – by not quitting when he wanted to.

He kept going to the last step.

Ray’s story is an analogy for all of us. 


  1. He started his journey
  2. He didn’t know the solutions but he knew he could figure it out.
  3. He never stopped once he realized the short goals were achievable
  4. He took the last step over the finish line and as a result – won.

champion mindset

What does it take to have a mindset to win

It is sometimes the case we think that men and women are born lucky or with a champion mindset. 

In my opinion however despite the fact that genetics might have a small role to play, finding out how to win is simply a mind set.

There exists a saying that you can’t stop a loser from losing and you can’t stop a winner from winning. I’d say it is fairly accurate. 

There are many people who I have delivered online coaching to that will listen, make notes, seek advice, participate in debates yet because of a quitting mindset, they fail to act on any of the information that’s delivered to them.

This is simply not at all unusual. If it were, there would not be a profession for keynote speakers. Again and again people come back to the same conventions and seminars to get somebody make them feel good when winning and succeeding has little to do with feeling good.

The individual that wants to feel good, the individual who has a champion mindset, will do so despite the pain, discomfort and feelings in the process. Going to the gym is a prime example for many people. If we were honest we would admit that we don’t like going to the gym. I know I personally dislike running. What I do like is the effects of running. The reality that I shed pounds, feel healthier and can run faster all lead me to want to continue running.

Life is no different and business is no different. We wish to succeed nevertheless in many instances we don’t wish to take the good with the bad.

I would absolutely propose that the bad is what makes the good – “good”. Flowers don’t grow in the desert where the sun shines but the rain never comes. We need the good days to provide contrast for the bad.

So what it take in my mind to win, is to have a commitment to a system. We need to remove the notion that success happens overnight, it does not. The most important step in success may in fact be the last one. The one when we have already climbed several false summits believing the next one is the real one. The step we take to speak to one more investor after several refusals. The one more time we get up to run again and rounding a corner to see the finish line. These are the steps that define success from failure. 

Today there is a proliferation of protectionism with our children. There is a strong desire to protect them from losing. The truth is if we never have the option to lose, we never experience the joy of succeeding. 

It is a cruel juxtaposition that we are in. The pain of knowing we might lose if we try compared to the relative comfort we have of never trying.

I think if we polled people who were on their final few weeks of life and asked what they would have wished more in their lives, it would have been to accomplish more, to try harder, to have lived more courageously. I don’t believe you would find a person with an adventurous spirit saying they wished they had spent more time in their LayZ Boy recliner watching TV.

If you want to develop a winning mindset, trying yourself not to quit.

Breaking in to the keynote speaker industry

Becoming a Keynote Speaker


The first step if you intend to be a motivational speaker will be to initially make a decision. Sounds simple right? The decision may be the easiest part of your journey as you start on a career as an entertainer, trainer or speaker. 


Keynote speakers are not born, they are made. A decision to become a speaker or trainer is very straightforward. In different ways it is liking saying you are contemplating doing the largest cliff jump in to the local lake. However until your feet have left the cliff, you aren’t committed.


The commitment to becoming a keynote speaker is imperative. Canadian speakers work typically in a smaller market than their cousins to the south and it is a competitive market. You must think about why would people pay you to talk to their organization? That answer may become the actual key to your success.


Making the final step count


Surely, if the 1st step is the decision, the final step comes after the decision not to quit the speaking industry. It is not uncommon for speakers to be focusing on the sidelines awaiting the career to take off and it takes many years to arrive at that point. If you knew it would take several years to build your career, might you stick it out? 


Frankly, if we knew the runway to success we may plan for it and stick it out. Usually we expect everything to happen quicker than it does and we quit in year five without knowing that we could have a very successful year if we had hung around for one more year. 


There are so many stories from keynote speakers of people who even had agency representation yet did not create a “career” in speaking for seven or eight years. There are also many stories of speakers making several hundred thousand dollars a years. Are you prepared to wait that long?


The steps to success


One of the first steps is to join your national speaking association which will have regional chapters that can provide a lot of help and support on your way to success. 


The networking you can do at these meetings with other successful keynote speakers is critical for your future direction. You will have the opportunity to hear what is working and of course, what is not. 


The speaking industry is often challenged with organizations who are looking for free speakers. While it may be tempting to drop your fee to court a potential client who really has no budget, you have to remember there is a big difference between a free speaker and a professional speaker. 


Once you have created industry ties and learned the ins and outs of a speaking career, it is time to promote yourself. While the digital side of things is very important and cost effective, nothing beats getting on the road and talking to clients directly. 


At the point where you have a few clients under your belt and have delivered some compelling talks, you can start talking to agents who may be willing to add you to their roster. 


The important point to remember with regard to agency representation is they will typically account for only a small percentage of your overall bookings. Be careful not to rely too much on agency representation and focus on carving out your own success.


In the end, the important take away is that there is no shortcut to success. Stick it out, learn and grow and don’t quit. That will become your story.

entertainer

5 Best list of Keynote Speaking mistakes

Avoid These Costly Speaking Mistakes

If you are a motivational speaker, then you certainly prefer to avoid costly mistakes within the phase where you are aiming to secure a booking, but most importantly during the presentation.

The great news for aspiring speakers is that you have stories to share. The bad news is that many folks need coaching in order to share those stories.

Once you have found your inspirational speaking coach and invested time and money into finding out how to do a good presentation, you want to avoid the major pitfalls of being a speaker.

So in no particular order, listed below are the 5 key mistakes that you ought to avoid if you are getting in to a speaking career.

1.    Not researching your audience.
Either gearing up your talk for a well educated audience in your area of expertise or dumbing it down often times will be the real difference between success and failure. You should definitely know what is at stake before you get into the room. 

2.    An early connection is critical.
Frankly if you haven’t put the audience on the edge of their seat in the first minute they already responding to texts. Furthermore the organizer just left the room! 

3.    Lead them to water…. I do know we can’t make them drink. So you had a great point, and it may have worked in your daily life, but how does it help your audience – explain what and how it will make a difference in their lives. 

4.    Don’t use a lot of slides and don’t read slides. Lets face it, people came to hear you not look at you reciting lives of drivel on a slide. Most speakers may have at most a photo on a slide. Their point is to engage the audience with their talk not kill all of them with a slick power point presentation 

5.    Go out with a bang. You could have just delivered the best keynote an audience has ever seen, but if you do not close leaving them gasping for more, you killed the proverbial goose.  

Positive Motivational Speaking Tips

Many canadian speakers that I know have the process of creating a keynote down to a fine art in order that they easily coverthe above points. 

The important take away is the an ounce or prevention is worth a pound of cure if you don’t get it right…

For  me, I like to at least have a conference call with the even organizers to get a read on their expectations for the speaker. 

Secondly I will arrive early and meet the delegates and again take the opportunity to interview them and find out what makes the difference between a good speaker and a bad one from their perspective.

Finally, it is deemed an art to read the audience from the stage. You have to learn to think on your feet, figure out how to wake an audience up and be dynamic.

Don’t structure your keynote in such a way that you cannot pivot when needed.
One of my events was a booking for an automobile club. The drivers had been out all day racing their cars and by the end of the day they simply wanted to socialize and drink. 

I was scheduled to be on stage at 7pm. By 9:30pm after many apologies the organizer asked me to take the stage. I looked at my wife and said “There is no way I can do my keynote, they’re way too loud”. 

I took the stage and indicated I was simply going to share some stories of how I had nearly died 5 times on adventures. The guests immediately quietened and listened intently as I regaled some silly stories of mis-adventure. At the end of the night it was one of the better applause I have ever received!

Motivational Speaking The Art of Being A Successful Speaker

I usually wondered just what it will be like to be a keynote speaker or entertainer.

I’ve heard it stated that the two biggest fears to have are talking when in front of a sizable audience and falling from a great height. With that in mind, then standing at the front of a stage talking to a large audience probably makes this career one of the most scary.

We all have memories of a childhood where at some point in time we had been put on the spot to deliver a message or speech in front of the class. I am sure we all understand that sudden dryness in the mouth, cold beads of sweat on our foreheads and a sudden rapid memory loss.

How does one overcome these negative attributes of speaking. If you’re a trainer, or a motivational speaker, then you’ve probably learned to overcome these situations already.   then how do you go about recovering from a point where everything seems to have gone south.

The very first thing I advise people to do is to talk to lots of successful speakers and enquire them what their biggest fear is or was and how did they overcome it. 

Keeps notes of what you learn and after that study the ideas that scare you and look through your resource of information to figure out how to solve the problem.

Many people actually enjoy that slightly nervous feeling before walking out on stage and others simply delight in the energy from a good audience. A number of people are very calm and collected while others appear a little less comfortable in the spotlight.

Like many careers there is an portion of excitement that you can find addictive. Even a chef in a busy kitchen does not always know how the evening is going to turn out and lives on adrenaline at some point during a busy evening. The same can be said to be true about a speaker.

  to understand and assist in reducing your fears is that everybody has come to see you. They did not come to see you attempting to be somebody else, simply you. If you are passionate about your topic then frankly you could probably improvise a speech on the spot and entertain a room full of people.

Often times, we are nervous about how will be received because we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. In reality, we can all benefit from a dose of positive mental attitude which is probably one of the most common talks from speakers. 

There are many techniques that one can use to overcome fear. The most important is to focus on the goal. Keep that closing statement in your mind and remind yourself of what you need to finish. 

Sometimes the biggest thing we fear is fear itself. Our mind takes a simple and realistic fear and builds a mountain out of a molehill. Breaking down the fear in to component parts is a reasonable way to approach the problem. 

Fear is very much a mental game. The former SAS soldier Andy McNabb talks of his capture in Iran and subsequent torture saying that it was simply like a board game and he was not going to let his opponent win. IN his mind he developed the mental toughness and fortitude to not give in to his opponent. He knew they would not kill him but they might break his bones. Those, in time would heal and so Andy knew he would have to face suffering but never defeat. 

For us as speakers, we will never have to fear that kind of pressure. The worst case scenario is that we deliver a keynote that is not well received. We may have some damage limitation to do or a reduced fee, but we will not have broken bones or be locked in a horrible jail cell.

Another important area to focus on is getting started. Too many people make themselves uncomfortable by thinking about what could go wrong, yet, when you start you are working in your area of strength. You are a speaker, revel in the opportunity and let people see how good you are. The feedback from a group can be incredible for your conviction so give them the ability to learn from you.

The third area is that you would be greedy to not share your information. Your goal as a speaker is to inspire people or to help them learn. For this reason, your fears are not justified. They could be perceived to be self centred and greedy. Take your eyes off yourself for a moment and think of the people in the audience who’s lives might change because you overcame your fears and got the job done.

Finally – it is important to remember that the more keynotes you do the better you in turn become. Canada Speakers like Hugh Culver and Linda Edgecombe have been at the top of their game for a long period. That is because they are well practised. They have done a lot of talks and presentations and have benefitted from the fact that they became very comfortable in the role. 

Whatever your fear, you can take comfort from the fact that you will become more practised, more confident and you will be recognized at some point for your expert delivery.

Motivational Speaker Successful

  1. So you choose to be a keynote speaker or trainer because speaking will be your passion? But you’re not certain ways to do it…. follow this advice.

    The first step is to know what is your topic? What is your brand? Where could you add value to your audience? Of course, and really importantly, who’s going to be your audience?

    One of the best places to start as a speaker is in your local area. There are lots of service clubs and organizations who are always interested in a speaker to fill in some time on their agenda.

    In this way, regardless if you are an entertainer, keynote speaker or motivational speaker, you will be able to get some feedback in a friendly environment.

    Every speaker occasionally experiences the people that really does not desire to be there. Typically you are likely to “break the ice with the audience very early in the talk but occasionally, it doesn’t happen and you know the next 45 minutes will likely be torture.

    What you need to understand and take from that lesson is it isn’t only you as a speaker or trainer that has a painful 45 minute experience. It’s also the meeting planner who is struggling to confirm your validity for next years meeting!

    Who is the buyer?

    It is very important remember that the audience you are talking with is not your client. It is the meeting or event planner that’s your client. They, typically are most tense in the first two to three minutes of a presentation to determine if you can get the listeners to “lean in”. If you fail to break the ice early with the audience the meeting planner knows they will be hearing negative comments.

    Because of this, the structure of a keynote is critical. 

    There’s a lot of “recipes” that are created and a few very talented Canadian Speakers who use recipes to create their keynotes but generally, this is a fairly standard pattern to follow:

    Introduce the audience to a funny or emotional story, right off the start line. 
    Summary of what you will guide them
    Take the first point – relate a story to them of how the first point is so important… some sort of crash and burn story which enables you suggest to them what you learned from the experience (or third party). Then point out the solution. In this manner, you get their attention with a relatable story and you provide them with solution. Wrap up that phase of the discussion with some ideas as to what benefits they’re going to derive from using your unique solution in their lives.
    Rinse and repeat part 3 with your other points, summarizing the points to improve following each session.
    Sell yourself – books, other meetings etc
    Close with a summary of all they’ve learned and then give them one amazing take away story that they may never forget you for. An unforgettable joke is also a good way to close a keynote.

    There you have it. A standard tactic to allow you as a keynote speaker to rock the world.

    Now you have read that you may have the question in your head “Can I really do this?” The answer certainly is YES.

    Too many people in the speaker coaching world will try and get you to be someone you are not.

    In truth you simply need to become a better “YOU”. The world needs to hear your story. If we really take a moment and think about it we should all have a few important stories to tell from our lives that can impact others. If we do not, then we can arrange to go out and create some stories, which is the fun part!

    The important take away from the article is that the audience is a tool you can use to impress your meeting planner, your client. If you learn to use that audience correctly, you can make them laugh, make them cry, make them think or get them to react. The conclusion is the audience needs to take something valuable away from the meeting and they need to remember you. 

    If you succeed in that regard you’re going to be an in demand trainer or speaker. You can make a career based on travel, fun and learning. 

What constitutes a successful keynote speaker?

It is very often the case many individuals believe keynote speaking is a lavish and prestigious profession.

There isn’t any doubt as an entertainer or keynote speaker you can earn a great deal of income and become very much popular. However, most successful speakers or entertainers spend a lot of time in airports around the world or hotels in several cities.

In order to have a career in speaking or to become a motivational speaker, you must first be or at least be perceived as being an expert in some subject.

What we most commonly see as a successful keynote speaker is anyone who has achieved a very high standing in their profession or sport. It is not however the only way to be a successful motivational speaker.

The art of speaking or indeed being a trainer is centred around your skill to retain the focus of your audience. It is what most speakers refer to as the power to get your audience to lean in.

So What has Changed?


Perhaps the revolution in the speaking industry has been the evolution of TED talks. While many keynote speakers and entertainers focus on delivering content over a 45 minute to one hour period, TED forces you to deliver an impactful message within 18 minutes.

The lesson for any speaker relates to the capacity for the audience to focus over a longer period of time.

It must be noted that while each TED talk is of a shorter duration, the audience is able to maintain focus over several sessions in the same evening.

The lesson therefore to anybody desiring to be a trainer or speaker is that you must learn to keep the audience engaged over larger spans of time using various tools like humour, audience participation or emotion. Essentially you might want to learn to be many different personalities in the same talk.

Many organizations which include toastmasters target training people to become speakers, however in many examples the training is somewhat old school. While it is valuable to find out the tools of the trade, as with many professions, times have changed and we have never necessarily responded to the change. 

A prime example is within the writing industry. Where books were once a minimum of 80,000 words, the evolution of the eBook industry has produced a demand for 8000 word ebooks. 

The same holds true in speaking where today we worry less with regard to the “umm’s, err’s or “like’s” in a sentence and much more regarding the ability for the speaker to entertain us and hold us captive to their narrative. 

Canada is one country that generates many premium quality entertainers and speakers. To become canadian speaker you can get not only the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (which has membership requirements in terms of your experience) but in addition several prime quality speaker agencies.

While the need to become a speaker may focus you on a path of writing a keynote and getting yourself ready for the big day, its also wise to be prepared to be multi-talented.

Most motivational speakers derive a significant portion of their income from selling books at their events. In addition, they deliver workshops for the same audience to provide value to their service.

In this circumstance the skills to create a book or host a workshop need to be acquired or purchased to assist you in your career progression.

If you are considering a career in speaking in North America, I would strongly suggest you look to either the National Speakers Association in the USA or the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers in Canada. 

Once you have opened enough doors to start to get bookings, it is an extremely rewarding career and one that can be very profitable also.