podcast image

Podcast

Episode 135: How To Start A Public Speaking Career with Rhonda Khan

May 06, 2021

In today’s episode, we meet Rhonda Khan, a speech language pathologist on a mission to amplify the voices of women of color. As founder of The Catalyst Academy, she helps women experts enter the thought leadership space as public speakers. 

If you’re wondering how to write, pitch, and speak publically, listen up. During our conversation, we talk about the power of vulnerability and speaking, finding lucrative speaking engagements, how to position yourself as a speaker, how much to charge, plus Rhonda shares her process for launching her clients’ public speaking careers. 

Listen on Apple Podcast

You’ll learn:

  • How to craft your signature speech 
  • Tools to help women of color overcome the fear of feeling underqualified
  • How to pitch conferences for public speaking opportunities
  • How to price your public speaking services
  • Why vulnerability enables you to connect with your audience

Mentioned in this episode:

Business Instagram: @simplyspeech
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhondakhan/
Website: https://www.simplyspeechsolutions.com/

Ready to Launch Your Business?

Join Our Membership Community

The She’s Off Script podcast has a membership community to help you launch and grow your business with resources, coaching, and collaboration with other founders. Join our Boss Off Script community today by going to serwaaadjeipelle.com/community


Episode Transcript

Rhonda Khan

we make these false benchmarks for ourselves and we have to graduate and validate ourselves. And so it takes a lot of that inner work, it takes attaching from those narratives and it takes really owning those unique things about yourself and practice it. Like it doesn't come overnight. It takes like brave step, brave step, brave step until you get there.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Mhm

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Hi Off-Scripters it's your host, Serwaa Adjei-Pellé and welcome to episode 1 35 of the She's off Script podcast. This is a show where we hear and learn from women who have created unique blueprints for their business success. My hope is that you'll hear their stories and translate their gems into a unique

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

path for yourself. In today's episode, we meet Rhonda Khan, who's a speech language pathologist who left traditional practice to now deliver public speaking training to women through her companies simply speech solutions. During our conversation, Rhonda walks us through her process for launching the public speaking careers

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

of her clients. During our conversation, she talks about the power of vulnerability and speaking, how to write a signature speech, how to pitch the right stage is how much to charge and so much more before we hear the rest of Rhonda's story, I would love it if you could subscribe, rate and review our show on itunes or wherever you're listening to podcasts, this will help to spread the word about our show. So amazing stories like Rhonda's can continue to inspire women looking to launch their own Off-Scripters Ernie's with that let's go off script with the founder of simply speech Solutions and the catalyst,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Academy,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Rhonda Khan mm Rhonda Khan welcome to she's off

Rhonda Khan

Script thank you for being here, Thank you

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

so much for having me. So for anyone who hasn't come across you before, could you share who you

Rhonda Khan

are and what you do? Yes, I am Rhonda Khan and I am the

Rhonda Khan

founder of simply speech Solutions and I am extremely passionate and on a mission to amplify the voices of Women of Color. So I started off as a speech pathologist and an actor and after years of of doing all of that work and a bit of becoming a mom, I decided to combine everything that I learned to support

Rhonda Khan

people with amplifying their voices And now with my work, I specifically have programming that I work with Women of Color. I have a program called the catalyst academy and incubated for Women of Color. I work with companies and help to train their teams and to support their employees who are marginalized. And I also speak and train myself and I'm a podcast host just like you, I have a podcast go over sharing with Rhonda. So I'm always talking and

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

I'm always trying to uplift oh I love that. But now you say you started out as a speech therapist. So what was that transition into business ownership like for you? Especially since you were doing the same thing, But now you're doing

Rhonda Khan

it in a different capacity. All right, so let's

Rhonda Khan

Get into that story girl. So let's go back to, I don't know, 2015. I think that's the time to talk about that when I was in a transition myself. So I had been, I got I got to school to be a speech pathologist, got my master certified in that I worked with schools, work with small Children,

Rhonda Khan

worked with some adults

Rhonda Khan

And at the same time, and this is, you know, before 2015 I was a working actor. And so I'll be going to the school and then go into auditions and then I quit my job to be an actor and I've gone back to work and back and forth. And so I was in that back and forth

Rhonda Khan

cycle and in 2015 I did some really transformative personal work and I was like, ok, I know that probably I don't want to be a clinical speech pathologist anymore. I love the foundation of the work, I love to help people. But I also have always had this actor playwright creative space here. At the time. I had wrote a one woman show called Food. I'd written a show called Food about my relationship with food as an emotional comedy and I started to do it in multiple places. I say I had a mini tour where I did in new york I did in Los Angeles, back home in Illinois, where I'm from, I'm from Chicago and then somewhere around this figuring out I'm doing something different during my show, I

Rhonda Khan

got pregnant with my son and that was exciting because I was like, hey, we're gonna keep the party going. I had a little bump and still like

Rhonda Khan

doing things. I was also working at a firm in Manhattan to do like professional speech pathology, which is something like for those who want to improve certain skills for executive leadership or people who have accents that they feel like limit their communication. They do like accent modification work. And there was some presentation work in there and I was also still seeing kids, so I was doing a

Rhonda Khan

little bit of everything

Rhonda Khan

girl and pregnant, but then I know we're both mothers, I had a pregnancy complication that put me on bed rest and yes, and because of that, I ended up losing a lot of my work because a lot of us in person, we weren't at zoom

Rhonda Khan

savvy as we are and it was just about keeping, you know, making sure

Rhonda Khan

I had a healthy pregnancy. So everything worked out, the baby came and I was a stay at home mom unplanned for about four or five months, not actually was about six months. And around that

Rhonda Khan

time I was like, okay, I don't want to go back to full time work, I don't want to go back to doing all of the things, everything has changed as it does his mother's, what can I do that can combine all the things that I know how to do to support people. And so becoming a public speaking coach is what happened. And it was like, I combine the skills of being a speech pathologist, combine the skills of being an actor and I've been

Rhonda Khan

a lifelong performer public speaker and gradually it just started with a client being like, hey, are you still on maternity leave that I used to work with and like actually needs some help. And so that was like my

Rhonda Khan

very first client. And then people just started to, I started to put myself out there, People start to find me. It happened really, really slowly because I still was taken care of baby, I was nursing, I was like in that space, but you know, I created a workshop and I'm like, how about I do this, a co working space? So it was it was it was very subtle, nothing explicitly taught me how to run a business growing up with my, with my skill set and helping professional performance. But there are transferable skills in both of those that have supported me and becoming a business owner. And so I've had to learn a lot as I've grown. And so from 2017 when I first got my LLC to now it has been just a transformation of me learning how to a deliver

Rhonda Khan

my service be, how to grow and evolve my business because it

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

teaches you

Rhonda Khan

and you change and then the phase that I'm in now, which is how to really serve the people that want to work with me and that I am deeply passionate about serving and the most impactful way high. And so

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

that is the story girl, wow as with anything, they're always the ups and downs. But today, as you said, you're

Rhonda Khan

helping

Rhonda Khan

women

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

launch their speaking careers or get on speaking stages. So in today's environment post 2020 is it realistic for someone to

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

expect that they can actually have a fully fledged out career as a public speaker or even really earn any

Rhonda Khan

significant income as a speaker? Absolutely. 100 and 17,000%. And here's why we figured out real quick how to do zoom. We figured out really quickly how to do virtual conferences. Virtual speaking is something that I had always done. I'd always in

Rhonda Khan

virtual sessions with my clients. But when I tell you that right now, people are literally growing speaking careers and it's not all about the money, but it's about the money booking four and five figures speaking engagements regularly that have never done it. I've had it in my own program, people doing that and people the great way about it's

Rhonda Khan

unfortunate, like I love speak in person, there is something that is missed and we have to be honest

Rhonda Khan

about that when you're not when you're doing virtual versus speaking in person because you get the energy of the people in the room. And a lot of my work when I teach about virtual speaking is like you have to create that energy exchange, It's not just gonna come,

Rhonda Khan

but at the same time, virtual speaking has invited so many more opportunities for people to see your work. And so gay. Like, whereas some people may have not been able to travel to the conference or had the conference fees, they've dropped fees, they made it more accessible. And so where you may have spoken to 100 you may be speaking to 1 50 where you may have spoken, you know, in this space, and then people get to share your content. So I feel like it's created even more opportunities for people to speak and grow and

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

definitely get paid their worst. Okay, so then in today's environment, how does one go about

Rhonda Khan

finding these lucrative speaking engagements? So before you even look for a speaking engagement, you

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

gotta do

Rhonda Khan

some inside work back then. Let's roll, let's roll it back, because I think a lot of people are so eager and when they see the dollars, they're like, oh, you can do that just for speaking. Absolutely. And it's work, it's work, it's

Rhonda Khan

not easy, and it takes it takes a lot of strategic steps. What I always say first is you gotta be mission over money.

Rhonda Khan

So why are you speaking, who is your target audience? Why do they need to hear from you? Why do they

Rhonda Khan

need to hear your message? What is your message? Do you have a message? Do you have a talk of signature talk to you? Do you know how to create one? Do you know where to find your audience? And so really doing some of that inner work and beyond, Just not just regular public speaking, fear anxiety. I think women of color have a specific work to do about belonging in different rooms and some inner work

Rhonda Khan

that has to happen there. But you're doing your work once you figure out who your audience is, you figure out where to find them. So where does your audience mostly lie? Are they usually at some companies depending on what your work is? Are they attending certain conferences? Are they at certain organizations and spaces? Okay. So once you have identified

Rhonda Khan

that, then you figure out where are the the actual events and the

Rhonda Khan

and the opportunities. And so let's say your your audience is in certain corporations. Let's say that you specialize in messages for folks of color and tech. And so maybe you want to target tech conferences, maybe you want to target tech companies who have E. R. G. S affinity

Rhonda Khan

groups or different special events that they want to book speakers for and maybe you're targeting the leads of those organizations. Are the leads ofthose groups and this or that to offer whatever you've already known that you work that you've already done to to serve them. And so you have you have a pitch, you have you have something to say and you're starting to build

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

a relationship with these people. So let's break down

Rhonda Khan

some of what you've already sex. I think

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

there's so much there. First and foremost, you've said that specifically women of color tend to have some mindset issues around whether or not they even belong or should be considered experts that

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

are qualified enough to speak. So could you break down what tools can we use to start to get over that hump and get over our fear of being in those

Rhonda Khan

spaces

Rhonda Khan

and speaking in those spaces. So unfortunately, there is a lot of of systemic racism as we know, and a lot of narratives that have been placed upon you to feel like you have to constrict yourself in a box when you go into spaces, even when their spaces of people that look like you. And so where is the like, professional? Which I do not? I didn't I I grew I will tell you all scripted about the word professional, but what is that? And what is

Rhonda Khan

how you should show up? I talk about presenter mode and if anybody who's followed my content, we'll talk about that. Actually, it's my next podcast episode, but sometimes there's a mode that I see, especially black women and women of color put up of of this is how I'm supposed to act and it's not your fault, it's the fault of society telling you that you have to do all these things to fit in and, and, and, and different people and different experiences you've had. And the truth is what people are really coming to look for when they hear you speaking, What people really want to come back. Yes, Your message is great. But they want to see you owning who you are. They want to see you taking on or connecting with those strengths that are only uniquely you that you can do. If you're a fast talker, you're fast talker. If you're deeply passionate emotional, you are, if you're really stoic, that's fine too. If you're,

Rhonda Khan

if you're more on the, hey, I like to keep it simple. That's you. If you have dry humor, that's you, but really owning those things and not assuming that you have to emulate and imitate qualities of other people that you've seen because what they're doing and I say this all the time they're doing them, they're doing worse than

Rhonda Khan

them, they figured it out. But if

Rhonda Khan

you're trying to do them, it's not gonna work out the same way we're going to be disconnected with you. And so there's that piece and there's the also peace and this is what I noticed because there's some women are like, I've done my work, I've been in therapy, I do coaching and I say, ok, so you

Rhonda Khan

with your level of work, how come you're not speaking here or how come you're not

Rhonda Khan

getting paid X, Y. Z. And they're like, I didn't think I was ready and I'm like, well what's ready? Who says he? And so, you know, there's a debate on whether a plaster syndrome makes sense for us or not. I do actually believe it, you know, depending on the context, but like, that comes up to

Rhonda Khan

of, like, look at this body of work you've had yet. You don't feel like your words are worthy

Rhonda Khan

because of whatever you've assumed that that you need to be like, we make these false benchmarks for ourselves and we have to graduate and validate ourselves. And so it takes a lot of that inner work. It takes attaching from those narratives, and it takes really owning

Rhonda Khan

those unique things about yourself and practice it. Like, it doesn't come overnight. It takes, like, brave step, brave step, brave

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

step until you get there. Oh, I love that you have to graduate and qualify yourself because you already. Okay, so now, once you've gotten over that mindset, and you know that you already you mentioned, do you know what

Rhonda Khan

you're

Rhonda Khan

going to talk

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

about? So what are the facets of a signature speech? And how

Rhonda Khan

do

Rhonda Khan

we put one together? So that very much starts with you first identifying your audience. And there's a tool that I use called the intention Triangle. I talk about it a lot in my program and the basis of the intention triangle, I won't break down all the steps, but every time we speak it's about impacting your audience. That is

Rhonda Khan

the reason we speak not to get applause, not to get approved of. And we know that cognitively, but at the same time we get caught up in like, oh, this is gonna sound good and this is going to be that. And so you set a goal of at the end of this talk, what do I want my

Rhonda Khan

audience to do or

Rhonda Khan

feel? What do I want? Why does that matter to them? How am I going to get them to do or feel this thing? And so you got to get

Rhonda Khan

that clear

Rhonda Khan

from the beginning and then you start to just launch into the creative process. You know, you don't what I highly recommend a lot of people I know writing is great, but sometimes they think like I'm going to write it all down, I believe you got

Rhonda Khan

to start talking about it and then write down what you say, because a different part of our brain is activated when we talk versus when we write. And so let's just talk through some of your ideas and just like make it messy, make it a brain dump of all the things you can, if writing is your medium, it's okay to write, but like talking right, talking right, talking right? And then you look at this dump of what you have and you say, okay, what are the connected ideas and what is connected to this objective of what

Rhonda Khan

I want for my audience. And so you start to piece that together, you start to piece that together. And typically what this objective of a signature talk is is your main message.

Rhonda Khan

Like the main thing that if people know you they're

Rhonda Khan

gonna associate you with that, so you start to pull it and you start to make sense of it and you create a structure that makes sense to you. I like a structure called what? So what now? What? And this is not an uncommon structure and some people may have heard of it. Problem solution benefit if it's if it's a persuasive talk but or a pitch, but what is like

Rhonda Khan

what do we care about? So what why

Rhonda Khan

do we care about that now? What are you gonna do about it? And then you keep working and refining it until and talking it through And there's a whole process I talk about and doing that in my catalyst academy and then you have that talk and

Rhonda Khan

then you start testing it, you start testing it, you want to test it on some some some low stakes stuff just to see how it lands with your target audience in mind, test it out and see okay like this. I like that and then once you start doing it you might add things or take away. But that becomes that main talk. And the great thing about that talk is that you can develop multiple

Rhonda Khan

talks from your main message. So for me my main signature talk is called on Your voice and it's about how you some of the stuff we

Rhonda Khan

talked about how you have, how you do from the inner work to the outer work into becoming

Rhonda Khan

a very confident speaker. And and from that talk, I've developed so many other different types of talks. I've customized it to different audiences. I have done over parts of thing, parts of the talk and branch down to to a whole thing. But that's the best way that you start and you can get your signature talk really done and refined in less than

Rhonda Khan

a month and

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

you're off, you're ready, Okay. And one of the things I love hearing you talk about is the fact that sometimes vulnerability is the key to you connecting with your audience. But I also wonder how much vulnerability is too much vulnerability or is

Rhonda Khan

there even such a thing. So there is, I'm a big fan of vulnerability. If you look, there's so many Bernie Brown books on my shelf like I am here. Like you're not going to come from Renee, I'm a big Renee has been very transformative to my life and my work, but here's here's what I'll say, you want to make sure

Rhonda Khan

that whatever you're sharing, you are intentional about sharing it. So it's not simply because and I'm talking about in the terms of public speaking, not in terms of like urine therapy, you're with a trusted friend, that's a different conversation. But if you're sharing a vulnerable story or experiencing a talk, you want to make sure that I'm sharing this story to impact the audience in X Y Z. So they can get whatever they need and they need to hear this story to be able to blah blah, blah, blah, blah. We don't share just to share. And

Rhonda Khan

the most important thing is to not share anything that you haven't already worked through

Rhonda Khan

because it's unsafe for you. And so if it's something that your current, that that's currently challenging for you or like not peeled from, that's something you want to keep between, like your closest people and a licensed trained therapist or coach or something like that. So you want to keep that in mind as well and then a great way to know about that and just to

Rhonda Khan

Be able to detect it. Being personal is fine being private, private or things that you would only tell five people personal or okay in a room of like 25 people, I'm happy to share this. Okay, so that's that's a good detector and if it doesn't

Rhonda Khan

feel right, don't do. However, there's so many great ways to be vulnerable without being unsafe and I think it's it's a matter of you checking in with yourself and understanding why you're telling this story and making sure that it's intentional and for

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

the impact of the audience. Yeah. Because I think sometimes when

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

people are nervous it's like word vomit, right,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

everything just comes out. And if you regret it or if it really doesn't have a purpose, if the desired impact actually does not land, then you probably have missed the

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

mark with your speech. But I'm glad you outlined, How do we know how much is too much to share and now that we've figured out what we are going to share, what are our signature speech is? How do we then start to reach out to the people we've

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

identified as our key stakeholders? What do you say when you're pitching someone who's a part of an E. R. G. Group

Rhonda Khan

or whatever it may be? So before you even pitched, you have to make sure your stuff is together and what I mean by stuff

Rhonda Khan

is that your social media is positioning you as a speaker and this is something you can do before you have even booked anything because the first thing all those decision makers are gonna do, they're gonna look you up, they're

Rhonda Khan

gonna look at your stuff. So simple things like putting speaker in your bio in your linkedin slashes in your instagram and your twitter saying that you're a speaker posting pictures of you speaking, even if it was something free or for work posting pictures, talking about making a poster, like I'm a speaker and I

Rhonda Khan

speak on X Y Z

Rhonda Khan

in linkedin, you can really be detailed because that about section is generous, it's long and so you can really talk about like I love to speak, I love to do this or this or that. So if you have made yourself visible, if you position yourself as a speaker, I think the next thing to do is you start looking, you make a list and you look up these organizations

Rhonda Khan

or conferences or events that knowing your target

Rhonda Khan

audience, where they would be. You pop in a spreadsheet, if that's your jam and then you start to connect with them. I think linkedin is a great place to do it, but you don't get

Rhonda Khan

to pitch in right away because they don't know you. Right? So, and so you you make a connection and you can even say something like I I work with these people and I love to learn more about your work. I love to be connected with you. You start engaging with your content. You start and you can even come from a place, what I like to say is

Rhonda Khan

come

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

from

Rhonda Khan

a place of offering versus asking. And so when you have connected, you've been visible, you started to build a relationship with them. Even if it's just engaging with a couple posts, you can say, hey, I like this post about X or whatever it is. I noticed that you are the E R

Rhonda Khan

G of, I don't know, black and Microsoft. Let's just say, I don't know if that's

Rhonda Khan

what the E R. G. And I specifically speak about black women and mental health and I don't know if you had a speaker or an event for mental health awareness month is in May, but hey, I love to offer you know this and you give them some information. So

Rhonda Khan

give them a link to if you don't have a real and you don't have to have

Rhonda Khan

a real automate like a a three minute sample of you speaking or this or that or this or that. And if you and offer, like if you don't, I'm still happy to stay connected for future events, this or that. And so multiple things can happen, right? Like we both have podcast, maybe we've had

Rhonda Khan

people pitched to us and it's important to create a personal connection. And so if you can add that part in there about, you know, I really loved this content about this or I if you have a mutual connection with something like that and then if they don't respond, you still keep in touch and stay consistent

Rhonda Khan

with them, right? But usually if you've positioned yourself,

Rhonda Khan

if you're doing your work, they you might be

Rhonda Khan

exactly what they're looking for and it's all about timing, right? So I think that for instance, with your org example, that's that's the approach that that I would make I'll share a quick story. There was a paracel that I did like, you know, the instagram carousel social media post that did

Rhonda Khan

really well this past May. And it was about virtual presenting. It was a two part series and it was obviously right on time because everybody all of a sudden was a public speaker now that they're using zoom, even if they're not doing public speaking, so I posted this and it did really, really well. I ended up getting a Forbes not in that like article.

Rhonda Khan

And that was really nice. And a company reached out to me, a very big media company asking me to speak to the E. R. G. And I'm thinking, oh they saw the virtual thing. And the woman was like, I really loved your stop hiding posts because I have a post about stop hiding and how we need to stop hiding and stop playing small. And that resonated with me so much because girl I'm hiding and she was pretty high up in this company. She was like, you know, we're trying to do some stuff for employees.

Rhonda Khan

Let's hop on a call. So this was an old content. But because I have been visible and being consistent, she reached out and that's why, you know, pitching is one way. But like if you're consistently visible, talking about the things you speak about and letting people know that you're able to speak, teach, train

Rhonda Khan

on this, this or that your folks will find you. A

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

lot of it is alignment. Mm I love that. I love that. So, once you're in alignment, you've kind of

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

taken us through this journey and someone finally reaches out to you. Like, you know, you were reached out to I know for our demographic that pricing

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Conversation is a tough one. I know you have people who are doing four or 5

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

figure kind of speaking engagements. Where is a good point to start when you're first starting out. If someone reaches out to you and says, I want you to do a zoom, talk to my whatever at my virtual conference, what's a good mark to start at? And as you get more

Rhonda Khan

experienced, where can you land? So in the catalyst academy, we have a whole growth scale and that's what I try to remind people, you can't just come in making four and five, you know, or, and that's, and there's more than that. There's actually no celebrities make six figures of science when they speak and what programs that they just can't, but why? That's why I say mission first over money in the beginning stages and there are all these several stages that I have, like you're an igniter and generator, the generator and energizer and a catalyst that's like the top level of the scale where you are the known thought leader for whatever you do. And

Rhonda Khan

so when you're in that ignite or energizing stage, your goal is to get your message out there and and get experience doesn't mean you still shouldn't ask, but you may be getting honorarium gigs and honorarium depends, it depends on your number. For some people, honorarium is anything under $500 for some people, it's anything under thousands of people, anything under 2500, so it really depends on where you are, but your goal is to build momentum at that stage. And so while you shouldn't be speaking for everywhere, you really still trying to hone your message and you're still trying to make sure that you are visible and so perhaps you take a lower paying gig because it isn't aligned audience, but it's going to give you the experience that you need to be like, hey, this is something that people like, let's do more of this, or let's refine this, perhaps that you may do a free thing that is strategic, like maybe it's in front of your target audience, maybe it's really legitimate free gig that has a lot of social proof, like there are a lot of big name conferences that don't pay their breakout speakers, but they have a lot of social proof and the decision makers are in

Rhonda Khan

the room attending the conference and they can

Rhonda Khan

bring you in for something. And so in the beginning you're a lot in strategy, but it still doesn't mean that you can't get paid One of my members. She booked a four figure engagement on her very first asked because she was positioned because she specifically positioned to serve the people that she serves and her old job reached out to her and said that she know any speakers that does that do what she does. And she was like, actually me. And so she actually me, you know, because she had she had been posting symptom things and so she was able to negotiate something with them and it was her first time, so it's very much possible. But once you start to build that momentum, here's the problem that people, you

Rhonda Khan

have to stop taking free, you gotta start saying no

Rhonda Khan

to things that aren't alive. So by the time you build momentum, you know who you are, you know what your work is, then you have to be like, actually, I'm not gonna take

Rhonda Khan

anything under this trade anymore, I'm not gonna take anything that's not my aligned audience anymore, because that's going to create more space for more higher paying jobs and more aligned jobs. Because once you get, once you get popping, you're going to be really excited. It's gonna be like, oh, I get these engagements are happening, but then

Rhonda Khan

you're gonna get burned out because you're trying to do it all instead of really focusing on that

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

audience and focusing on that mission and you said you don't want to get burned out. So do you work with people who they speak full time? Or is this a facet of the business? And if it's a facet of the business, what percentage of their time are they allotting to speaking engagements versus

Rhonda Khan

everything else that they do? So this is a great question because this is something we talk about in the group a lot. So it ranges. I

Rhonda Khan

Have some people who work 9-5 good, good clean jobs that are also building their thought leadership and it's a unique balance because they know that their work is beyond whatever their whatever their title is, and they're starting to step in to that space. And what I tell them

Rhonda Khan

is that it's time to. And especially this is what's tricky when they're getting paid at a good job there. They're not valuing themselves sometimes as speakers. And I'm like, this is your this is work too. This is great that these people are asking you to speak, you have to get paid because if you're putting a value on it and you're kind of you're looking at actually, I can't take everything like this is this is work it takes. It's almost like if you're speaking a lot, a lot of people,

Rhonda Khan

I don't know how they feel about this, but it's like kind of being an athlete, it takes

Rhonda Khan

so much energy to speak consistently and to give that energy and to prepare and to work and if you're doing multiple engagements that week, plus doing your job, it's a lot. And so you have to think like what is the value, not only of what I'm offering, of my capacity, my sacrifice of, you know, me extending myself. And so usually the conversation is a

Rhonda Khan

lot about for those people them needing to charge their worth and to start saying no to things that are underlined. I do have people who public, there are business owners or entrepreneurs and public speaking is a part of their greater mission and also a funnel to to for their business. And so it generates leads and it also grows their profile. And that's also a similar juggling act of where I should put my energy, but I'll say and it I mean it's also convenient for me because speaking is my business, but I definitely generate way more leads, speaking just being in front of people than I do, doing other stuff, like all the other other things that you do. And so there's also like a where do you put your energy? And then

Rhonda Khan

there's some people who are thought leadership is their job. And and so they have a book and they have multiple things and speaking is their main business, because it's the main thing that promotes everything that they do. And so usually those people need to put more energy and work into it because they're probably charging those premium rates by the time

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

they've gotten to that stage, wow, you've given us so much. But do you have any kind of parting thoughts for someone who is now

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

entering the thought leadership space, where should

Rhonda Khan

they put their energy first? You

Rhonda Khan

start connecting with your audience. You don't have to if you are aligned and I will say the alignments sermon every time, because it has been the best thing that has worked for me and the people I work with. If you

Rhonda Khan

are positioned as a speaker and you are continuously communicating with your audience, that means your content speaks to your target audience, that means whatever opportunity to speak to your target audience, that means everything is there, then the folks will find you, but do your inner work, make sure your mission

Rhonda Khan

is really clear. Make sure targeting your audience, make

Rhonda Khan

sure you're

Rhonda Khan

visible to them and consistent. And then you can start really starting to ask for those things that

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

you absolutely want and deserve. I love that. So now for anyone who is interested in following you and learning from

Rhonda Khan

you, where can they find you? So I'm everywhere on social media at that. It's simply speech I'm

Rhonda Khan

also unlinked and Rhonda Khan, my website is simply speak solutions dot com and if anybody wants

Rhonda Khan

to grow their thought leadership, get into public speaking and be that catalyst that they know they need to be, then they can join the catalyst academy, which is my 12 month incubator for women of color leaders and the catalyst academy, you can find that at simply speech solutions dot

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

com slash the catalyst Academy Love it, thank you so

Rhonda Khan

much, Rhonda, I appreciate it,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

thank

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

you.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

This

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

was a blast, Okay, Mhm Hi Off-Scripters I'm so glad you made it to the end of this episode. If you enjoy listening to our show, please pay it forward by sharing us with your network between episodes. You can find me on instagram are handle is at she's off Script or you can catch up on past episodes at she's off

Rhonda Khan

Script dot

hey there!

I'm Serwaa, your new business strategist.

I’m a digital business strategy expert, headstrong high achiever, mom of two girls and wife to a strapping African man.

Embracing these facets of my life has been the key to breaking through my plateaus!

hey there
steal it

Every Expert Needs a Personal Brand. Not Sure Where To Start?

Steal my playbook! In the age of social media, it’s not enough to expect your product or service to speak for itself. Whether you’re a corporate queen, side hustler or entrepreneur, you need a brand that creates trust with your audience.