Champion Speakers with Nigel Risner

Champion Speakers with Nigel Risner

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Last night the KZN chapter had the honour of having the phenomenal Nigel Risner grace us with his presence in our monthly zoom meeting, Nigel is not only extremely entertaining but he is also unreservedly direct.  He isn’t just a motivational speaker, but he is also a company turnaround specialist, driving everyone from CEOs to school children to ignite excitement and action in their life.

Key takeaways from Nigel’s talk include:

How to Become Champion speakers

We need to stop waiting for things to get better and for the pandemic to end; We don’t know when we are going to be able to do what we used to do prior to the pandemic, and we need to learn how to become champions today. How we behave today will determine whether people will be interested in booking us in the future.

  • Your character has got to shine through in the first 25 seconds.

Your opening line has to always be great, engage people in seconds, don’t waste time telling people how great you are just show them. People are more concerned about the content you will deliver that will change their lives; your character needs to be built up before you speak. This will therefore speak volumes in you opening especially within the first 25 seconds.

The important thing about a presentation is that you start phenomenally well, and finish really well, the middle is not that important. You need a great opening line, three key points and then close brilliantly. Failure to do this, you will lose people very easily especially on zoom, the most important thing is keeping your audience interested.

  • Your heart must come across through the computer:


“Intimacy meaning: “In to me you see”

Your audience needs to see you, so make sure you’re being genuine.  Listen really well and notice if your audience is struggling to understand you, so if they didn’t catch something you are able to repeat it. Make sure your heart is in the right space to do a presentation; if not it shows up on zoom more than anything. Make sure you do whatever you need to do to be okay so that your heart is open to your audience before engaging them.

  • You attitude when you are presenting shows up:

“Attitudes are contagious is yours worth catching?”

Your face shows very clearly on zoom, when you smile you light up the room. Attitude is key and It shows up when you present, zoom is very unforgiving so look at your background and how you present because a lot of people are watching you.

  • Are you congruent with your mission statement?

Goal definition:                has a beginning and an end

Vision definition:   A big goal that you don’t know how you will achieve but are working towards it.

Mission definition:  A plan on how you’re actively going to achieve your goals and visions

Is your speech in alignment with your mission statement? Don’t do a speech you are not in alignment with and are not good at, even though as we know times are hard and we need the money.  Ask yourself what you are good at and do it, even if the fee isn’t good, as long as you’re passionate about it because passion is everything for a champion speaker.

  • You are too good to give away your content for free:

Nigel advised that when he is booked to speak to 100 people this includes the sale of a certain number of his books. This amount is determined by his publicist but is normally a small number of say 16 copies of the book, and a lot of the times 40% of his guests ask for more books.

Never say your number first, wait to see how much your client is willing to pay first, then tell them all that your fee includes and advise on the benefits they will get but just don’t give away your number too quickly.

  • Perseverance:

Push as much as you can, ask all relevant questions and do follow ups. Make sure that you get your clients to trust you first; people will not pay unless they trust you. This includes things such as having a websites where your clients can see your work, or upload some of your talks on platforms such as you tube etc. people will not pay until they have seem that you are actually good.

  • Integrity:

You get more feedback from being genuine, people watch for integrity whether online or on linked in. If you post an article on linked in, look for re shares because that’s how you know you have made an impact. When you have posted also remember to like each comment and reply to the comments of each article because you want to be seen as an authority of your own subject and remember to post only professional comment on linked in as it is not Facebook.

  • Organisation skills:

Be aware of what your strengths and weaknesses are and find someone to partner with even within the PSASA to work with in order to get yourself where you need to be. Be cheeky, have the nerve to do exactly what you want and don’t be afraid to ask you clients for the support you require from them, they must be able to see into you and trust in your authenticity.

For more information on Nigel Risner head over to his website page

Find out more about the PSASA KZN Chapter Meetings here
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