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Behind The Scenes Of The Speaking Industry - Dave Daniel

succeed through speaking tom bailey Dec 12, 2022

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews David Daniel.

Working with clients to provide the right speaker for their audience, objectives, and budget. Consultant and Corporate Speaker Agent to Bruce Dickinson of Iton Maiden, SAS hero Ronin Horsfall and busienss guru Geoff Burch at DPD Consultancy and Speakers Associates Ltd

I have lived and breathed the world of speaking since 1996 when I joined CSA Celebrity Speakers Bureau. In my time in the industry, I have worked with the good and the great of the speaking world, including speakers such as Neil Armstrong, and Pele

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Tom Bailey  00:07

Hello and welcome to succeed through speaking the place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results Hello, I'm Tom Bailey and in today's speaker stories episode, I'll be getting to know Dave Daniel who is a consultant and corporate speaker, agent, DVD consultancy and speaker Associates, and has lived and breathed the wall of speaking since 1996 when he joined the CSA celebrity speaker's bureau. So, Dave, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode. Very much nice to be here. Thank you so much for coming and just out of interest for everyone listening whereabouts in the world. Are you right now?

Dave Daniel  00:53

I'm in Buckinghamshire, just outside Windsor. Excellent. English, obviously.

Tom Bailey  01:00

That's fantastic. Yeah. And I know it very well, lovely part of the world. And you've also stated in your bio, that you've worked with the good and the great of the speaking world, including speakers such as Neil Armstrong and Pele, just to name a couple. Yeah. So it's gonna be great to really get your insight what happens behind the stage as such. But before I do that, I wanted to ask you, have you ever wanted to try your hand at speaking? Or do you prefer being behind the stage? Never, no, never, not my thing. And so I've always been someone behind doing what I do behind it before. I've been in the speaking industry since 97. Said, or that was in the music industry as a tour manager and a promoter. So I've always been someone in the background, putting it together, rather than being the person on the stage of companies anything worse? Yeah. I know the feeling. And And was it a accidental shift from music in the speaking industry? Or did it happen because you wanted to progress into that area? It was when, back in 96, I was just coming to the end of being a promoter as a self friend of mine. And I just had my first child is now obviously no child anymore. And I thought, You know what, it's about time I got a real job. Because being a promoter for yourself,

Dave Daniel  02:16

is not it's not a wage that comes in every week, so to speak. And now I've got responsibilities. So I ended up having to get a real job, which just happened to land in my lap pretty much because it's down the road was down the road from where I left. Yeah. And there's not a lot of difference between the music industry and the speaking industry. So showbiz but what we do COVID shoulders? Yeah, understand the synergy was there straightaway.

Tom Bailey  02:42

Perfect. It's really interesting. And the fact that you've never obviously got onto the stage, but it makes sense. Because obviously you had that experience of managing tours and music. And so let's go

Dave Daniel  02:51

on stage. So you had to go on stage one. Okay. Manager. Yep. 10 second, oh, introduced band. And it was maybe the worst sense in my life.

Tom Bailey  03:00

Yeah. And also, it's not just the 10 seconds on stage. It's all the nerves and apprehension that comes before that as well. Exactly. And then probably afterwards, looking back and feeling annoyed at yourself for how bad it went or for what you did or didn't say, Yeah,

Dave Daniel  03:12

I mean, I'd like to be able to do it. And I'd like to want to be able to do it. Neither.

Tom Bailey  03:20

Well, you can, you know, you can do voyeuristically through watching the people that you put on the stages to see how amazing they are. Great. So this is really interesting. A lot of the people we have on the podcast are the speakers that talk about what it's like to be on the stage. But it'd be great just to get as much insight as we can out of you today. What happens behind the stage. So let's talk about you've got to speak on your books, you're their agent. What's it like trying to find them speaking gigs? Is it hard work is you know, tell me a little bit about that.

Dave Daniel  03:50

Well, it can be it obviously depends. So it's, I now have freelance now working for myself and I look after three or four specific people. A couple of them are celebrities in their own right. So one of the guys who look after Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden and aviation on social pilot and all the rest of it, it's not that hard to find Bruce work because he's a global Rockstar. Yeah, so everyone knows who he is. Although it's quite hard to start with because obviously people will start things off started think Ozzy Osbourne was Bruce is obviously very different animal towards the gospel. And then I've got other guys who aren't as well known are in their field. And that's that's the hardest sell. I mean, you're coming you were talking about what's it like to be on stage as speaker and what is fraught nursing of bland stuff? I mean, I look at gross, you know, he gets on stage 100,000 people and sings and God knows how he goes. Pick the different animal to someone. But everyone's got his strengths and weaknesses and Hang on. So I always loads and I always was when I was a celebrity speakers just to take people on as a speaker, because especially if that's their day job, you know, their lives are in your hand. Yeah. And I never wanted to promise people stuff that they can deliver. I can get them speaking engagement Sure, but maybe aren't get someone enough to earn a living from it. If that's their day job. Or some like Bruce, obviously, his day job is Rockstar. Yeah, the money is not sure if you can do speaking engagements, brilliant, you know, getting 10 A year 20 years, he doesn't mind because it's not his bread and butter. Right. And that's, that's the difference. I look after three other guys, Robin Horsfall, who is a former si es soldier. And he was at the Iranian embassy in 82. Now and he's gone on to become an entrepreneur is is sort of a bit between Bruce and someone who earns his living from it. And another guy called Jeff birch, who's an alternative business and is living. So there's more pressure to summer like Jeff was for me to find engagement sunlight, Jeff, there was some adverse. But it all depends on who the speaker is, what they're going to bring to the audience on whether I would then make a decision on whether I would, you know, competently be able to deliver what they want.

Tom Bailey  06:27

So I want to ask a couple questions on the back of that. So we've got the celebrity speaker, Iron Maiden in the he's got the name, he's got the draw already. And what about someone who's an aspiring speaker never been in a band? You know, they've not been in the SHS, you know, they don't have this amazing, incredible backstory, but they still really want to get into the speaking industry. Well, what could what can they bring to the table or possibly myself? What could they bring to the table? Do

Dave Daniel  06:50

you think? Well, it depends, of course, what they're going to be speaking on. What the story is, everyone's got a story. But it depends on what you can impart from your story to the audience. And whatever knowledge you're going to give them. It all depends on what the brief is, for me, your organizer, motivational speaker, they want to finance speaker, whatever, yeah, it's not just someone go, I'm going to be a speaker, you've got to have something to say. And not only that, you've got to have something that people want to listen to hear about, and will inspire the audience. Because like I say, the speaking industry, in my opinion, is called show. Yeah, you have a conference, you've got a few speakers in a day, and you've got one that's an outside guest speaker. That's the turn if you like, that's going to be the one that inspires you, when it's because the CEO of the company, unifiers, you're not going to be able to inspire the audience, they want to see someone that's going to uplift them. So it depends on what that speaker is going to be speaking about the story that you've mentioned the word

Tom Bailey  07:53

audience at least seven times in that little segment there. So I think that's, that's really important to think about, if you do want to become a speaker, it's which type of audience you want to speak to? Is it corporate? Is it life coaches? Is it sports people, you know, whatever that is? Who are the audience? And then you also mentioned what, what value can you add to that audience? So I guess there are two two distinctions to make. If you think about getting into this industry,

Dave Daniel  08:16

you don't want to put the cart before the horse, ultimately, someone is going to be paying you to speak at their event, you've got to deliver what that person is paying you once you to deliver. Yeah, yeah. It's obviously an A, B, sometimes the speaker makes or breaks the event. That person is writing the bill was the speaker is no good. You know, they're gonna get, they're the ones that are gonna get it in the next CEO. You know, they're not taking the life in your hands for you. But you've got to be confident in what you're delivering. And in regards to being the speaker, with the audience, you've obviously got to take that into account as well. So it's a bit of a balancing act, you've got to deliver what the fee paying person wants you to deliver. But you've also got to connect with the audience.

Tom Bailey  09:01

Yeah, yeah, it makes complete sense. Be interesting to talk about what else goes into creating a package for a speaker, so to speak, on stage delivering their content is one element, but then you've got to think about the website, the brochure, the show, reels, the videos. Do you work on all of that with the speakers to really help them build their brand positioning? Well, most of them have got

Dave Daniel  09:23

that already. Yeah. I mean, videos in necessity. Yeah. When I started in 96, is the simple Blazers over to clients by fax. Yeah, cool. Shit. No, this is how long ago it was. Person that proposal photographs and my fax and video, it was, you know, certainly nothing online. There was no internet. I'm sending a website. But now, everyone wants to see a video and rightly so because those tools are there. So you've got to make use of them because someone's going to pay me 1000s of pounds to speak at their event, at least once Now now that you can stand up, be competent in speaking without falling over. Yeah. LISA can ask. Yeah.

Tom Bailey  10:07

And that's, that's quite important when you're starting out, you know that that's probably one of the good reasons, one of the main reasons to do free speaking gigs at the beginning to build your craft, but also to capture footage. You're

Dave Daniel  10:18

absolutely right. Absolutely right, is where you're going to get your teeth if you like. Yeah, you know, so if you have a global name in your own right, anyway, and you want to become a speaker, then everyone knows who you are, and everyone's seen you on the telly or whatever. You don't really have to do that so much. Yeah, if you're, if you're like, No, no one's going to take you, no matter how good your agent is. Or your speaker manager, no one's gonna take their word for it without being able to see some room for their sign, they're not going to pay you 1000s of pounds without actually saying you can do what they think you could do, or someone's trying to sell anything.

Tom Bailey  10:54

So in your years as an as an agent, then have you only ever found people paid gigs, you actually found people freekicks as well.

Dave Daniel  11:02

Just as an agent. It's obviously my favorite. Yeah, yeah, let's say and go out. Sorry, something else would have banned go out and play for enough. That answer is no. So I don't, I can advise, I would advise people, if I think someone's potential could go somewhere with it. I can give them advice and what's. And if someone wanted to speak up enough in Angeles and go to charity, or need to speak, if I had someone I could do that for I'll put them both in touch with each other, and yourself. And sort of fix it like that. But I don't know it's not agent.

Tom Bailey  11:47

Matt. Okay, perfect. So I guess the advice is there, you know, do free speaking to start with cut your teeth, practice your craft capture footage as well, if you're starting from scratch.

Dave Daniel  11:57

Absolutely. Yep. Perfect.

Tom Bailey  11:59

And then what about someone starting from scratch, who isn't quite sure on the topic? Like, what's the best? What's the best way to create a 60 minute talk that and choosing what that topic is like? So that'd be based on a story based on one key takeaway. And what what advice have you got about content?

Dave Daniel  12:17

First of all, maybe 45 minutes 45 Yet, they did a study some of this study of the 45 minutes people's attention wanes, who you aren't enough to 60 minutes, forget it. It could be a bummer. Yeah. After that, you know that the human brain doesn't have the capacity to stay in that attention. So in regards to the topic, it all depends who the person is, and what we're going to be talking about, before we descend to them all, I would say has always been about inspiration and motivation. Background, some of us from day one, they always want to be inspired, you know, no matter where you're coming from, so that that is certainly the lion's share them all these are. But in regards to what you're going to be speaking on, that's really dependent on who you are. Yeah, makes you expertises. Anyway, you know, it's not like anyone could be a speaker, right? I'm gonna learn how to stand up and speak on stage and speak. You could have something to say, Yeah. And you're gonna have some people want to listen to. So you've got to have a specific topic in mind, or specific idea. If you're a finance person, obviously, you're going to be talking about the economic climate. If you're a sports star, you're going to be inspiring people with your story. So you can have a good idea where you can talk about it's not like you got a blank sheet of paper and said, right, I'm going to be a speaker in Washington. Yeah. You

Tom Bailey  13:41

know, that, that makes a lot of sense. You know, don't become a leadership speaker. If you've never been in a leadership role or don't have any experience or capability on the topic. I mean, they're called

Dave Daniel  13:50

thought leaders and consultants. Just like you Yeah. consultants that have never done a day's work in their life. Okay, they took that stuff, but

Tom Bailey  14:00

yeah, it makes complete sense. So and quite topical one while it was topical a couple of years ago, we've just had a global pandemic, which pretty much wiped out the in person speaking industry. What what did you do for yourself and with your clients to really help quickly transition during that that time to virtual

Dave Daniel  14:16

speaking? Yeah, it kind of changed everything for everyone. And I was a celebrity speaks for years. And during COVID I was on furlough and I just decided you know what, I like this work life balance. I don't get out now. I'm never gonna get out. Yeah, jumped freelance. For a while virtual was obviously the only game in town. There was a bit of a conflict without conflict, but difference of opinions. The company I was at decided Bucha was the way forward. I always knew that she was I need to be there. Tempers lasted until you together people are people they want to be with people, that it's a there's now a hybrid people can afford other speakers that they would normally bounce out of virtual. But the reason you have a conference is for people to sit next to people, and we're social animals. So my, I think people learned a lot from that in regards to, you know, I've never been on Zoom. I never knew what zoom was, like, I think comes to technology. And I'm not saying I'm an expert now. But you know, I can do this. Yeah. And I have to do this now. Yeah, I've never done it before. And so it gave it gave people another platform. And it worked for a lot of people. And they still do it. You know, if you have a briefing call with the speaker and a client, they more often than not will do it over zoom. Yeah. glean a lot more face to face and the kind of people and you can on the telephone. Yeah. Cost

Tom Bailey  15:57

saving. And I guess for the speakers as well. No longer guarantee international travel no longer having to be away from the family for two to three days for a speaking gig.

Dave Daniel  16:05

Yeah, but it's, it's still the lion's share is still going to be a phased. Yeah. Yeah.

Tom Bailey  16:12

Definitely. So it looks like it looks like you know, we're going back into that real face to face stuff with a little bit of hybrid. And we'll see what's next we'll see if the technology improves. And yeah,

Dave Daniel  16:22

watch this space, I guess. Perfect. So

Tom Bailey  16:26

yeah, I've asked you lots of questions, questions, what loads of great value there. And if if anyone listening to this wants to speak to you about, you know, working with you, or in fact, booking one of your speakers, what's the best place for where's the best place for them to go to reach out

Dave Daniel  16:39

to you? Well, my own websites has been built. I mean, look after three or four people, but I'm still all things to all men. Like I can deliver world famous sports person, I can deliver a UK centric economist, whatever people want that the joy about what I do now is dealt with the client for the client, I can deliver the right speaker to exactly what they want was before, when you're working for a company, you know, you've got targets, people want you to sell specific speakers, and you're trying to pigeonhole people in square pegs into round holes. Now, I don't have to do that. Now my commissions are lower, and what what I think is the right speaker and I can work totally hand in hand with the clients that deliver that person to make it it was the right person. And whether it be one that guys look after, or whether it be one of the 1000s of other people that go about ideas. It's about creative ideas, new speakers, excited speakers. So they can get me at the moment on with speakers associates. So Dave, that speakers associates my number is

Tom Bailey  17:52

probably enough. So what I'll do is I'll put a link to your LinkedIn, I'll put a link to your email and then when your website's ready to go live, we'll put that into the show notes

Dave Daniel  17:59

as well. People I mean, speaks associates have got their own website as well. So you can go to that you can contact me David out. And if there's anyone out there that is looking for a speaker to speak at their events, neat ideas needs new fresh ideas, not the same old names or someone hopefully I can trust which I know we're going to block a few times and we've got more experience than most and then please be in touch. And I'll I'll try to help you

Tom Bailey  18:28

fantastic and your network from 1996 to now must be significant. So like you said you can connect the right people with the right people in this industry. Yeah.

Dave Daniel  18:36

Like you said the beginning from Neil Armstrong headline to boosting and center the sugar by age to you know, all sorts of weird and wonderful because they'll always be something there for someone salutely Someone wants a comedian than I can deliver someone's a sports now I can do that if you want to start finding finance expert whatever, you know

Tom Bailey  18:59

it's gonna be a good need for lots of finance experts in the UK right?

Dave Daniel  19:02

Yeah, Alan so if you're not seeing many now but you know when I absolutely.

Tom Bailey  19:06

Well, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate you come along and sharing such great value with our audience.

Dave Daniel  19:11

Why you welcome so nice to see