Before the internet became the ultimate stop for information and new ideas, Alex Merry was driving up and down the country delivering speeches every day for three months at a time. This was a wholly different era; an era in which a face-book was a phone book with contact photos and a twitter was the sound of birds chirping. We may yearn for a return to those simpler times, but not Alex, who has learned to harness the power of the Internet to inspire a new generation of speakers across the country.
“Social media wasn’t really a thing back then, so we didn’t know how to use it,” says Merry. “Travelling around, giving all these talks was so inefficient, but with the Internet, that doesn’t need to happen anymore”. Today, a good speech only needs to be delivered once because it can be recorded and put online, according to Merry. “My advice is to stop speaking at loads of different conferences and spend time creating a world class talk that will be as relevant now as it will be in five to six years years time.”
Merry began his metamorphosis into coaching when the entrepreneur established TEDxClapham. It was during this time that Merry witnessed first-hand the same problems surfacing in the speech applications that he received. “When TED gave me a license for TEDxClapham, I started to receive countless messages from people asking to speak at the event” says Merry. “But what most people wanted to talk about on stage lacked depth and purpose.
“The most common speech pitch from the TEDx side of things was ‘I want to talk about me because my story will inspire people,’” says Merry. “They will see the 0.01% of incredible stories out there that have gone viral online think they will go viral too”.
Does going viral actually benefit the speaker? “If you think about turnover as vanity and profit as sanity, I think that the view count can be looked at in exactly the same way. The big misconception is that it has nothing to do with how many people see your talk, and everything to do with who sees it”. Merry adds that with social media, speakers can put strategies in place to ensure that the speech gets put in front of the people that need to see it. When it comes to delivering the talk itself, focus on the content. “If you know what you’ve got to say is world-class, then already the delivery improves because they’ve got their confidence that it’s good”.
Thus far, Merry’s clients have ranged from the founders of Blippar and Grabble to boxing legend Chris Eubank, but he has now taken his coaching in a new direction: a new online Public Speaking Accelerator course. The course includes 12 webinar sessions and weekly one-to-one calls with Merry to help clients land, write and deliver a powerful, thought-provoking talk that can be used as a showpiece for their business brand or cause. As the course is online, entrepreneurs can access his expertise from across the world. For more details about the course, visit: http://www.alex-merry.com/psa