Listen Now:

What We Talk About

If you’re an expert in what you do (and yes, you are)… you have enough content in your repertoire to build your signature presentation! Because yes, your signature presentation is simply content delivered from a stage.

Bri Williams will share how she sets the content of your signature presentation up, ensures that it drives to a sale, and delivers REAL value to the audience.

If you’re prepping for a stage, summit, or other speaking opportunity – you want to listen to this first!


Find Bri on Instagram
Connect with Bri on LinkedIn
Follow Bri on Facebook
Join Public Speaking for Entrepreneurs group on Facebook

See Bri’s Previous Episodes:
Episode 98 – Using Your Book as Leverage When You Speak with Bri Williams
Episode 119 – The Secrets of Paid Speaking (even if you’ve never done it before) with Bri Williams

Check out the entire library of organic promotion episodes here.

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:03
We all know that the more you speak, the more you share your expertise, the more you get on stages, yours virtual, somebody else's in person, whatever, the more you grow your business. The tough part about all of that is figuring out what the heck to speak about. putting together your presentations in a way that they're going to create the transformation you want the audience to have, but also make them want to work with you, and pay you and do all of that good stuff that, frankly, we like to. And so we have invited back, I forget if it's the third time the second time, I think it's the third time three Williams, who we just adore. And she has so much expertise and just told us that this is one of her favorite things to talk about. So Bri Welcome back. Introduce yourself for people who may not have heard you on before.

Bri Williams 0:58
Hey, everyone, thank you for having me back again, between your summit last year and the podcast where we're doing plenty of talking. But I think it's, it's really exciting to talk about content, because I think that the content and what you actually want to speak about is one of the big stumbling blocks for people who are aspiring speakers who are coaches, consultants who are experts in their field. They know, they have things to talk about, but they're not exactly sure how to shape that and put it out there in the world. So I'm really looking forward to this one today. And thank you for having me

Alyson Lex 1:31
here. Well, let's talk about that. Because I think that the idea of shaping a presentation is, is kind of scary, because there are about 20 bajillion different ways to quote unquote, do it. Right. Right. What kind of shapes should that presentation take? Can you give us kind of some, some containers?

Bri Williams 2:03
Absolutely. So the first tip here is to keep it simple speaker, you have all of the content you could possibly need. at your fingertips, you already know everything you need to know. So you don't need to go out and as the expert that you are, go out and seek more knowledge, because I know that subject matter experts are inclined to spend time wanting to know more and more and more hoarding knowledge for the fact is that you actually already have the content for a speech, a talk, a keynote, a cell phone stage webinar, a podcast or you already have that all at your fingertips right now, in terms of what you can speak about. The challenge here for most experts is actually narrowing it down to a singular topic, which can feel like that can be a challenge in terms of prioritizing certain topics over others, and trying to decide what your best first topic is.

Alyson Lex 3:06
I tell you how to do

Jennie Wright 3:07
that. I was gonna say I was just going to jump in and say that, that is literally like, That's literally how I felt the first time I was thinking about doing something like this. You know, Allison, and I went on a bit of a, an application Blitz to speak on virtually or even in person. different stages. Right? So. And that was a huge challenge about that, too. Right? And I just want to know from you, how do you think that we can narrow down this field this topic, so that we know what to talk about? Because it does feel daunting? I can talk about like six different things that are five different things that are really expert level? What do I how do I narrow down?

Bri Williams 3:51
I mean, that's exactly what most clients come to me saying, I have so many things that I can talk about. Some people come with an educated background, you know, I've literally, my job has been to talk about 20 different things on the regular. So how do I narrow it down to just one. So the first thing I would suggest is make a list a long long list and empty your mind of all of the topics. And what you'll probably find is that you have a few key themes and other other other things on your list will become supporting points. And so they're maybe not as strong an idea on their own. They might compliment others or simply they're just not great ideas, but you've got to Maddie and you will quickly see what the better ideas are you'll probably have three to five that you feel confident on. Positive about you know that you can speak about that. And so then with your shortlist, you're going to go ahead and have a think about what ties directly to what you're selling right now. So go back to your signature program, think about what your plans are for the next 12 months. So we're not talking about the next three to six even think about 12 months and ahead If you are in that position to do so, if you're not think about the next 90 days and what you would love to sell the heck out. Because you are going to find that the topics that you can speak with the most confidence are likely tied to your signature program or service or product or book you've written. So go ahead then and cross out anything that isn't related to what you want to sell in the next 90 days. And and then the next filter you're going to apply is thinking about what are the juiciest topics on that list? So what is most likely to get the attention of a host? And secondarily, what are their audience going to love? So what problems are you actually solving for their audience, but also thinking about the way that you describe the problem that you solve? So the things that you can talk about and making sure that you are, in fact, using all your words, in the most enticing way, so that you can use what you know, and grab your hosts potential hosts attention with that.

Alyson Lex 6:00
I really like how you broke that down into that process, because that's narrowed down to But now, when you narrow it down to five, I because I know Jenny, and I know me and I know our clients. Should those five be related to like, so I'm a copywriter. I can talk about copy. But I can also talk about email marketing, I can talk about funnels, I can talk about marketing, in general, I could talk about psychology, when I narrow it down, should I be focused mostly on copy, or should I be a little more broad, so I'm kind of covering all the bases.

Bri Williams 6:44
More specific is going to be easier for an audience to absorb and understand who you are and what you're about. So picking one problem and solving it well is better than providing an encyclopedic knowledge about any given topic. So my advice to anyone that's thinking about whether to narrow down is to define one area rather than trying to provide a training catalog. Now, I'm a former educator, so for me, that hurts, that's hard. For anyone who's an expert, you have a bunch of things that you can pull from, but what I would encourage you to do as a someone who's an aspiring speaker, or looking to go from no fee, to paid speaking as well is to think about creating one talk that is then easy for you to pull down off the shelf. Because the more ease you can create for yourself when you're creating space for yourself in your business as a speaker, and it does take some work is to think about how to create ease, the quickest way to do that is to create a signature talk. So that's focusing on one topic, and sticking to it for some time. So not you can go ahead and you can plan out three top talks, talk topics that you eventually want to get to deliver. And you could even start marketing those different talks and see what you get bites on. But essentially, what you're going to do is create the talk and the slides that you can then add 20. So when you're looking for events, you're going to find that you can tweak the title, tweak examples, but the core content largely remains the same. So that you are creating efficiency in your world and not making it such a heavy lift every time you want to go out and do a talk. That also makes it much easier instead of having to bomb you know, 100 different applications, you can narrow it down and spend less time because you've already got the description, the title, you know, that need tweaking, not starting from scratch every time you're applying or pitching.

Jennie Wright 8:50
How about those events, though, that want that exclusivity of the talk? Like when I applied to a recent one, it said you know, have you presented this topic anywhere else? And it kind of felt like through the application process. They wanted something completely original.

Bri Williams 9:07
Okay, so then it takes us into what is this talk worth to you? Are you getting paid for this talk? Or is this a free visibility? Bill?

Jennie Wright 9:18
This was a it was a visibility builder.

Bri Williams 9:20
Okay, so do you have capacity to create a talk from scratch? Do you have, you know, number two, talk on your signature talk list that you want to develop? So it's kind of creates that internal motivation to get it done. These are some of the things that I'd be thinking about. If I'm creating something net you to make sure that it's a good investment of your time, because we can't make any more of that.

Alyson Lex 9:45
That makes a lot of sense. And I also applied to that same place and thought, well, if I don't get the stage then I've got the talk made and if I do get the stage well then I'll just do it after it. So I write so you can, because they want exclusive exclusivity now, doesn't mean that I can have to never present it again.

Bri Williams 10:10
Absolutely, you can leverage that for content not only for talks, but then you've also got, you know, blogs, you've got social posts, you've got another asset, essentially, for your business. So I would never discourage people if they have the capacity to create additional aligned content that is serving their greater goals, whether it be speaking your income goals, if it's aligned, and you've got the capacity, and you can use it in the future. For free visibility, build it that may be worth your time. If it's something you're getting paid for, then absolutely, that's part of the time that you factor in as a creator, to then be paid to create and deliver that.

Alyson Lex 10:54
You sent something just now that sparked a thought in my head, Coke repurposing your talks as content? Well, that sounds cool. So what might that look like if I want to use it on on social, but not give away the whole farm.

Bri Williams 11:16
So I encourage anyone who's going through the signature talk process, the first time to create slides to create visual content, even if they don't plan on using it for the talks. Because then you automatically have a visual that represents your concepts, your frameworks and methodologies. Now, for me, as someone who works primarily with subject matter experts, and whether their course creators, coaches, consultants, etc. And you want to be sharing your methodologies, your frameworks, your methods, to a certain extent, and in your marketing anyway. So I think that anything that you're creating for your talk you're going to use, if you create it in a way that it ultimately serves your lead generation purposes, if anything I create for a talk I use in my marketing, it's, it's one in the same. And I'm not giving away all of the secrets, I'm not giving away all the farm, I'm letting people know how it is that I go about things. And then some people will want support and help in implementing that in their business. And that's that's the philosophy I take. But I'm not actually giving anything away. I'm helping people who need a little bit of information. And some people always want support within that audience as well. They're the buyers in your audience.

Jennie Wright 12:34
There's, you're kind of making me feel at peace right now. It's really I, for me, I find this topic a little bit overwhelming for me. And I know for Alison, it's not a big deal. She's written hundreds and hundreds of talks for clients in the past, and she's done some for me and everything. But I found this to be very daunting. And I know other people find it daunting to but you make it sound accessible. And you know, when we're looking at the content within these talks, and we're being able to repurpose it, that seems good. Seems very good to be able to repurpose it. My question is, is when we're taking a look at the content for these talks, how do you structure it so that at the end of it like it has that bit of inspo? And also makes people want to buy from you like, what is the deal, like a method that sort of makes that happen?

Bri Williams 13:33
Yeah, I do. So the two types of talks, I focus on either a classic keynote, or a sell from stage, I don't do all the talks everywhere. So they're the two that I primarily focus on for subject matter experts, because I love anyone who considers themselves a nerd, and wants to speak that they're my peeps, right? So sell from stage because we need to sell stuff keynote, because we know that speaking can lead to bigger stages and different opportunities, that subject matter experts are very well suited. So what we start with no matter which talk we're creating is our big idea. What's the what's the thing, right? What's the big idea? We're then going to craft three key points that support that big idea. And then we're going to bring data, examples and stories as our supporting details. Anyone who loves structure is like, yes, give me a big idea. Give me three key points, give me supporting details that show not tell those key points. Now, if you're creating a classic keynote, your introduction and your conclusion are slightly different than if you're selling from stage but the middle is largely the same for those in your audience that are looking to use speaking to sell, or at least invite people to take the next step with them. The basic premise is that we're selling Adding up the talk so that people are nodding their heads a lot at the beginning. They're saying, Yeah, that sounds like me. Yeah, that's my problem. Yes, I want to know how to solve it. And then we're actually providing value. So we're, we're not just doing the, the, the what, and not the how I truly believe in actually delivering value, and not just dangling carrots and leaving people feeling really unsatisfied with content.

Jennie Wright 15:23
But I have a quick question there, if that's okay, so we're talking about the web and not the how all the time, if you are providing some of the how are you? Are you giving the intrinsic details? Or are you just giving like top level like, yeah, you know, if you want to create a listen to talk was on a high converting sales page, let's just say because it's a topic Allison, I could probably talk about for days, you're not telling them? Okay, well, this goes here, and this goes here. And this goes here. And this is how you do it, because that's your method that you would sell. Right? So how do you? How do you talk about the the how, without giving away the farm?

Bri Williams 15:58
So I guess, if I be can be so bold as to ask you a question rather than to question. My question would be, how long would it typically take you to describe in the amount of detail that are required to apply that knowledge, step by step? For that high, high converting sales page, would it take you 30 minutes, three hours, you know,

Jennie Wright 16:23
probably about an hour and a half, two hours. Okay, through

Bri Williams 16:27
typically, you're speaking on a summit on a product, you know, maybe you've got like 20 minutes airtime, you can definitely talk about the what and the how, without giving away the farm, because you're you're condensing really leaving out a lot of detail. Because you simply couldn't go into that amount of detail, it wouldn't make any sense to go into that amount of detail in that amount of time. So I think there's a balance that can be struck between the the time that you're speaking and really providing the value, the type of value that people can walk away and do one of those things that you suggested, because automatically a you've helped them be you've built some trust, because you've, you've helped and see it's got real substance. And you know, people are so tired of just hearing all the slick stuff, they want real value. And that's, that's a basic, you know, a foundational value of all of the work that I do real value, and of the people that I work with.

Alyson Lex 17:33
One of the things that I'm I'm usually a little I'm usually a little wary of, is to not make them feel like they have enough to do it completely on their own, unless I've given them enough to completely do it on their own, because that feels like a disservice. Right? So if I'm telling you, here are the steps that you need to take to get started with sales copy, I want to make it really clear that there's more to do, but I'm just giving you the basics now. So I've really I think that do you, are you open and honest in these conversations or in these presentations like this is going to get you going? This is not going to get you to the finish line, but it's going to right, do you? How do you handle that yet?

Bri Williams 18:32
What you're describing is the perfect segue between content and come and come and, you know, take the next step with me whether that be a call, whether that be a lead magnet or a program, because what you're essentially saying is, we are so zoomed in on this one piece of the puzzle, and I'm going to explain that to you in some detail. But what we know is that it is simply one piece of the puzzle. So assuming right out, we're saying this is the way that I typically help people who have this problem, you know, it's not just one thing, because of course, there's always the foundation and the move. You know, there's more to it than this. And so this is a way to essentially sell without being salesy. And for our folks who actually want to invite people into their world, they say, Listen, you know, this, this is the detail around this piece of what we know is a much bigger puzzle. Let me show show you what the landscape looks like. You know what this puzzle look looks like. If you can see anything here on this puzzle that also needs solving for you that you would like support with, give me a call, click the link, take, take the lead Mac, you see what I'm saying? It's kind of it's been very genuine with of course, this isn't going to solve the whole thing.

Jennie Wright 19:46
I think it's about bringing awareness to the problem showing that there is a viable solution. Maybe touching on some of the key things that will help them get to their solution. You know, things like that, am I on the right track?

Bri Williams 20:05
I feel like most entrepreneurs are overwhelmed with information. And that information alone is more information alone is not going to help. I think context and specificity will make you stand out as an expert, if you can tell people where and when, and for whom this best applies, you know, the knowledge that you're sharing. And, and, more specifically, some of those details that other guru types that are holding back and maybe, you know, giving us lots of smoke, smoke and mirrors on. And, yeah, I think that's a great way to stand out as an expert when you're speaking. And, you know, and in all of your content, really.

Jennie Wright 20:52
I agree, if you're trying to write this, these signature talks to really convey your expertise to an audience. And we're looking at the content of that. I think some people err on the side of, well, here's the accolades. Here's my, here's my, you know, what I'm able to do, I'm an expert, because this, this, this, this, and this, and it feels like we don't need your CV in the beginning. Like, that's my personal feeling. But how do you convey in your content? That you're an expert, with this as your expert subject matter? Do you say something like, Well, when I help clients, they get results? Like, or, you know, in my 15 years of experience, or like, how do you phrase it so that you don't sound? Excuse me, but pompous. But how do you still get across that you're a subject matter expert?

Bri Williams 21:40
Yeah. So we want the humble brag, we want to

Jennie Wright 21:42
Yeah. I want to humble brag.

Bri Williams 21:47
Yeah. So let's humble brag throughout, not just at the beginning. And that makes it sound like a lot of humble bragging. But in fact, it's, it's some of the phrases that you've already used. I like to share stories of other people that I've worked with. So that, firstly, I'm not just talking about myself, I'm talking about you in the audience, and someone who's been there before you who's had similar struggles. And these are the steps that they took, in order to kind of reach these results, I like to use transformational stories. And I think using things like, you know, date yourself, in a way. And by that, I mean, when you're when you're speaking, you can save things like when I work, you know, my first job was, was working in a record company, and a record store partner, where we actually still sold records, as well as CDs. And that's where I learned all about nerding out and passion for things that you love. Right? So you know, that I started working when, when Britney Spears released Hit Me Baby One More Time on CD single,

Jennie Wright 22:58
you know, really, yeah.

Bri Williams 23:01
And after that, you know, and ever since then I have been training, coaching, and leading teams focused on all aspects of communication. But once I realized that my passion, really lately speaking and helping experts unlock all of their knowledge and sharing that with people. Yeah, I, that's when I really double down on that particular area of communication. And when I started my business, you know, back in 2018, so you can start putting some of these details in. So it might be stories about myself that might be stories about my like, my clients, and but it's really part of the the whole storytelling vibe, and including specifics in there that build credibility, but also provide the detail and the context that helps people understand the bigger picture as well.

Alyson Lex 23:57
Really, like we Jenny and I call that bread crumbing. Sometimes, like, we'll say, oh, you know, what, my clients will XYZ or I have a client who ABC and you just mentioned it in an offhand way, and it just lets people know, this is how I work. And you're saying that it also backs up in a show don't tell kind of way the the big data points, the big key points that you're talking about, and I really like intentionally bread crumbing and building that in.

Bri Williams 24:28
Yeah, I want in fact, if I can give a behind the scenes a little bit, I have a list of things that I want to breadcrumb when I'm in a signature talk right I have a list of things that when I'm a guest speaker, I'm bread crumbing. And it's you know, for me, it's points on a document that I can see within easy, easy eye contact of a camera lens.

Alyson Lex 24:52
I like that. So you have your I want to mention this. I want to think about that. And you drop them in when you can And then you're golden. I really liked that. Earlier when you were talking about connecting your talk to the thing you want to sell, got me thinking, speaking of breadcrumb, we have a client that she has two talks that are awesome. One of which is very, we'll call it sexy, right? It's super sexy that people really want this one. The other one connects better. But she struggles to get that one accepted or sold, if you will. What do you do in that instance, when this talk can be connected? If we do a little bit of gymnastics, this one works better, but it's not getting picked up as often. How do you how do you manage that? Is that something you've come up against?

Bri Williams 25:56
Yeah, I think it's I mean, sex is a good word, because a lot of a lot of the systems behind a speaking business are not particularly sexy. And you know, it's it's systematic. And it's researchers outreach, and it's testing. So similar to marketing, you're looking at what are people? What are hosts interested to pick up? And I find that there are certain topics that my clients are leading with that feel like what their audience need, but it's not actually what they want. And so that's one of the first things we look at talk title is super important, what you call a thing. And I know, as a copywriter, you're like, Yeah, of course. But how do we actually work on the talk title, we look at how we can make it more specific, but audience focused. So talking about what problem problem that we're solving in the title, which is, it sounds not so hard, right. But it is actually a little bit difficult, especially with a lot of overuse terms, super amount of alliteration out there, which, you know, leads us to having a lot of similar titles impacted income, cash clients, cat, you know, camera confidence, a lot of things in my world anyway, that are really overused. And so trying to find a new way to describe that means that we start trying to be super clever, and a little bit cute without titles. But what we want to aim for is absolute clarity, as opposed to cleverness. And so if your client, for example, is trying to be a little cute with a title, I think that going for a more specific, clear title, even if it makes it a little bit longer if we need a sub subtitle underneath that, to explain what we mean, in a little bit more detail that that can help. So the title is the first thing that your host is seeing the description as the second thing. And so typically, I'd say, you know, why did you pick that particular topic? And is there something in there that you know, of these three key points, if we're using my structure, the three key points, maybe there's two of those that really hit but we need to really work on one or the other ones, to make it cookie a sexier. And like the hottest step that people feel like they're missing, because then you give some of what they want, and also what they need in the same

Jennie Wright 28:29
same package without extra being click Beatty, but yes, right. I want to I need to jump on the bandwagon of not having clever titles because they drive me insane. And she loves them. Allison loves them, but I absolutely hate them. Because they're not clear enough to me. They're, they're cute. And they're fun. But sometimes, and sometimes you can make them with you can make clear ones and wonderful ones with some alliteration. I love alliteration. But the clever does heart I love alliteration, but the the super clever, like five people in the audience will get it and the rest of us will shake our heads like what does that mean? I am bore that to know I cannot stand. So I announced recently had a conversation with a client who gave us a super clever title for something and we were like, no, no five people are gonna get in bed all night. Yeah. And they were like, they were like, really? You don't like it? But like, No, I mean, it's cute. But like 10 people out of your entire audience are going to get it and the rest of them are going to be scratching their heads and it's not gonna work. But to that end, okay, so this is I just checked by the way this is episode number three with you. Just so everybody knows. And if you want to check out the previous episodes with Bree, you got to check out episode 119 and episode 98. So this particular episode is going to be 170. So there's been quite a bit of a gap between them. But you definitely want to check out the other two episodes that Bri did with us because they We're awesome. And they're all different topics. So they're really, really cool. And you're also going to want to go to system to And check out the show notes for this particular episode, because we're going to link to all the great and amazing places that you can find Bri. And you can connect with her because if you are getting a signature talk, you're going to want her help. She started amazing. So go and do that, please. Bree, where can people quickly and easily find you and connect with you?

Bri Williams 30:27
LinkedIn, and their as Bruce Briony Williams, my full name. And also my Facebook community public speaking for entrepreneurs come on down during during the community start talking about speaking, talking about talking, speaking about speaking.

Where there's loads of speaking resources in there. And a great community of people that are trying to get going with speaking but also people who have a little bit more experience as well and who who lend their experience to the group as well, really community.

Jennie Wright 31:06
And we'll make sure the link to that Facebook group is in our show notes as well. So it's just an easy click. So go to system to Navigate to Episode 170. You'll find Brees episode, all the show notes and all the links that she just discussed, they'll all be there. So you can make sure that you get in touch with her on LinkedIn and on our Facebook. Bree, thank you so much for coming back. We just keep having you back. Because we adore your content. We adore you. So thanks so much for taking the time.

Bri Williams 31:32
I really appreciate being here. And I know that we could talk for days. So we did pretty well at 30 minutes or so.

Jennie Wright 31:39
And that was a conscious effort. By the way, like Alison and I were sending notes to each other going we better wrap because we're going to be here for a long time. So anyways, we thanks so much for you being here. We really appreciate it. If you haven't already, please make sure you're following or liking this podcast so that you can catch all of the episodes for System to THRIVE. Allison, I have some amazing series coming up for you. Especially the one that Bree is part of right now, which is our content series. And you'll be able to come back and check out more of those. There's more to come. Thanks so much, everybody. We'll see you all soon.



Some links contained on this page may be affiliate links. We never recommend any product or service that we haven't personally used or found to get good results for our clients and network. You are always free to search and purchase directly from the company withOUT using our link if you so desire.