As a Fellow of the Public Speaking Association, I was delighted to be featured in their Key Notes in November 2014.
Key Notes are regular interviews with some of the top speakers in our profession and they will delve into their experience and knowledge. The Key Notes themselves also provide useful links to help you ‘speak better speak more’ and will also inform you of regional, national and international events. Here is a reproduction of what they said about me:
“Our latest ‘Key Notes’ speaker is Steve Clarke, FPSA
Steve is one of the country’s leading experts on grassroots sales and marketing strategies. Not a theorist or a guru, but a doer.
He left school at the age of 16 with no direction or real qualifications to speak of. At 18 he became engrossed in the power of personal development and goal setting. At 19 with a fresh attitude and determination to succeed he found his niche in sales. Shortly thereafter he was invited to become a director of his first company.
Since then he has owned and operated businesses in the UK and USA. He has taken them from start up to stock market flotation. He helped grow his last UK business from scratch to £30 million in annual revenues in just 8 years, becoming one of the “Times Top 100′′ fastest growing and profitable SME’s in the country in the process. In 2005 the company was sold and he was able to retire at he age of 45.
Now he spends much of his time working with organisations, sales teams and entrepreneurs that want to achieve growth and success through improved sales and marketing. Numerous businesses can point directly to Steve’s low cost or even no cost strategies, that once implemented have delivered incredible results; and quickly too.
His specialty is helping people achieve champagne results on a beer budget! Steve is a business columnist for a number of publications and author of “How To Thrive Not Just Survive”, in which he shares his simple proven formula for business success. He willingly shares his knowledge in the hope that he will inspire others to achieve their goals and aspirations. In addition to sales training, mentoring and coaching, he has lectured at Universities and is engaged as a keynote inspirational sales and marketing speaker internationally.
Over recent months Steve has delivered talks and worked with companies all across the UK and Europe as well as The Middle East, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India. Steve is also very proud to be a member of an elite team of business mentors chosen by The Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy (the EBA) which James Caan, former Dragon from BBC TV’s Dragon’s Den spearheads with Founder, Bev James.
Steve lives by his mantra… “It’s your attitude that determines your altitude”
What or Who inspired you to start speaking?
Whilst I am in NO way likening myself to him as a speaker, Tony Robbins was my early inspiration. I’m a big believer in personal development. Attending his seminar back in 2000 helped me so much. He taught me to set goals and how to achieve them.
I decided I wanted to motivate and inspire people in my niche and in my own style.
What’s your topic/s?
All things sales and marketing related. Business growth and entrepreneurship. (is that a real word? I still struggle to spell it)
In 3 words, how would you describe yourself as a speaker?
To spare my blushes, can I use three words a client used to describe a keynote talk I delivered for them to 600 opticians? “Motivational, inspirational, mesmerising”
How long have you been a professional speaker?
I’ve been speaking for a living for 5 years
When did you first join the PSA?
I joined the PSA after attending my first Spring convention in 2012
What was the greatest piece of advice you have been given?
Evaluate each speaking opportunity and apply the three F’s rule before excepting the gig.
There has to be a Fit. My target audience or a cause I want to support. A Fee; self explanatory, providing it’s an appropriate fee or I Flee. It’s not too tough to get busy with speaking engagements, but as the saying goes, anyone can be a busy fool.
Who is the best speaker you have ever seen, and why?
Again, I’d have to say Mr Tony Robbins. Energy, delivery, enthusiasm and valuable content.
What was your greatest ever talk? And why?
That’s such a tough question to answer and not due to modesty and certainly not because every talk is wonderful. It’s just; how to measure a great talk?
Sometimes an audience will sit quietly and not react to part of a story which had other groups laughing out loud, but that’s often because they are taking the message in, not because they’re not getting it.
I would measure my ‘great’ from the actions people take after I’ve spoken and maybe set them some challenges. It’s great for me when I receive a call to say, “thank you, I did as you suggested and this or that has happened”.
These thank-yous range from giving someone the confidence to deliver a talk themselves to a client winning a sixteen thousand pound contract from a single idea I freely shared from the stage.
It’s great when I can see that I’ve made a tangible difference.
What was your biggest on stage disaster and what did you do about it?
Apart from delivering a talk with my flies undone and splitting my trousers when I bent over.
My biggest disaster was overrunning during a keynote talk in Iran.
Full of nerves, and against my better judgement, I rewrote my entire presentation and changed my slides the night before I was due on stage in front of several hundred people.
I failed to check the time when I took to the stage and didn’t have anyone keeping time for me. I soon got into the groove and the audience were with me, we were all having fun. All except the next speaker up, I’d stolen 20 minutes of his slot by the time I realized I was over. Ironically, he’d helped me prepare the new slides!
The next day I cut my time down and gave it back to him. I’m now very aware of keeping to time.
What is your number one marketing tip?
Simple. Pick up the phone to three targeted people each day who can help move you closer to your goal. If you’re not getting work, take responsibility. It’s not about your logo, It’s not about your website, pick up the phone.
What has been the best thing about being a part of the PSA?
Camaraderie, help and support.
What do you know now, that you wish you knew when you first started?
I wish I’d recognized that I had lots of great stories worth telling and how to really relate them to the audience in front of me.
How has your speaking business changed since you started?
I started with focused SME owner-manager groups. They still form a large part of my business today as I throughly enjoy the company of entrepreneurs.
For the last three years I’ve also run my own sales mentoring program for business owners. Many of my fellow Fellows from the PSA have delivered master classes for me, so I’ve become a “booker” too.
I now get more corporate Keynote work in the UK and Europe.
The biggest change for me is speaking on the global stage. I love to travel, so combine this with speaking and I’m a happy bunny. In recent months I’ve been fortunate enough to speak in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China, India, Poland, Spain, Germany, Greece, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Are there any other comments you’d like to add?
If anyone wishes to pursue a speaking career, or is already speaking, but hasn’t joined, get involved with the PSA, it’s a fantastic group of like minded people who can lift you up when you’re down, and help you celebrate your successes too.”
Contacting Steve (Me!)
Contact Steve at:
+44 (0) 203 151 6165
If you’re not already part of the PSA, and would like to know how belonging can help you speak more and speak better, visit http://www.thepsa.co.uk/