Speakers: how a ghostwriter can transform your business book
If you’re a professional speaker, or even if you just speak to promote your expertise and win more clients, you’ll know that having a book is a priceless asset when it comes to attracting the best speaking gigs.
In fact, it’s becoming a necessity.
My experience has shown me that there are specific benefits speakers gain from working with a ghostwriter. You could even say that speakers and ghostwriters go together (to use a British analogy) like strawberries and cream!
So what are the benefits?
As a speaker, you’re a great storyteller
I’ve never met a speaker who didn’t have a store of fascinating and entertaining stories up their sleeve, ready to be whipped out at a moment’s notice like a magician with a bunch of flowers. This is a brilliant basis for a book.
However, in my experience, while these stories work well on the stage they often need re-working for the page.
Readers consume stories differently than listeners. When we’re watching a speaker we’re pulled along by their body language and expression, which makes the link between the story and the point being made easy to grasp.
In a book it’s not the same. You need to join the dots between what your story is about and the ideas and insights you’re trying to put across in an explicit way, otherwise your readers will feel confused.
And confused readers don’t read on. They put down the book and walk away. A ghostwriter can make sure your treasure trove of stories receives the attention it deserves.
But … writing a business book is not your thing
This leads to my next point, which sounds obvious but is true: speakers are excellent at presenting ideas verbally, and this is a completely different skill to writing.
It would be easy if all it took to write a brilliant business book was to speak your words, record and transcribe them, and voila – you have a book.
But writing a book that engages your readers, pulling them through it from beginning to end, relies on years of intensive writing practice. Having worked with speakers, this is one of the things they struggle with the most. They have oodles of excellent material – experience, stories, ideas – but it’s the getting it down into a readable book that’s the challenge.
This really is an area that a professional writer can help with. They can make the difference between a collection of ideas that sound like they could be plausible and a convincing and readable book.
You’re writing to the void
I’m no speaker, but if I was I imagine the worst experience would be to stand on stage and receive no feedback whatsoever from your audience. A wall of folded arms with expressionless faces (*shudders*).
Speakers thrive on feedback, and the best ones incorporate it into their talk. I’m always impressed when I see a presenter respond to their audience in a spontaneous way – this is something I envy their ability to do!
A book is different. You don’t receive immediate feedback so you have no idea if your words are landing in the way you intend. What if your readers don’t understand you? What if they can’t ‘get’ your argument? What if they put your book down, meaning to come back to it, and then never quite manage it because they found it hard work?
A business book ghostwriter or coach can not only give you an objective opinion on what you want to say, but also find ways of crafting your points so they make sense without any audience feedback. This might involve adding more explanation, using different examples, and taking into account various different possible reactions.
You don’t have a captive audience
Not only do you not have a live audience, you don’t have one that’s committed to staying until the end.
When people come to watch your talk they’ve left their home or office, travelled to the venue, paid (or not) to get in, and have mentally committed the time to listen to you.
That doesn’t mean to say it’s easy to gain and keep their attention; it can take years for professional speakers to hone that skill and I have huge respect for it. But it does mean your audience is there for the duration.
If you get off to a slow start or mistakenly fumble your words part way through, they’ll still be waiting for you. They’re not going anywhere.
You get no such second chances when communicating via a book.
I’m sure there are plenty of business books that you’ve hit a tricky patch with as a reader. Did you carry on to the end? Or did you give it up as a bad job? There may have been a treasure trove of insights in the next chapter, but you never read them because the previous one was hard work.
Working with an experienced ghostwriter ensures that your book has no such flaws.
Your schedule is all over the place
I’ve never met a speaker who wasn’t on the road (or in the air) on a regular basis. Bookings come at random times, sometimes with little notice. One minute you’re staring at a clear calendar, the next you’re off to the airport to catch a flight to your next assignment.
I’ll be honest, to a homebody writer like me it seems kind of glamorous. But what does this mean for writing your business book?
Sure, you can write on a flight or a train, and that’s great. But it also means those two days you’d set aside for writing your next chapter with a steaming cup of coffee by your side have disappeared in a puff of smoke. When you have a publisher’s deadline to meet, that can be stressful.
Here’s where a business book ghostwriter comes in. They’re the ultimate completer, keeping your book on track and making sure it’s finished to a high standard. They’re not jetting around on planes, trains, and automobiles, they’re tucked inside their cosy office with fingers to the keyboard. Now you can hop on that plane and enjoy the flight.
Speakers and writers working together seems like such an obvious solution to creating a standout business book. You have the ideas, the stories, and the knowledge, and the ghostwriter has the writing skills and ability to finish the job on time.
If you’re a speaker wanting to become the author of your own book, consider what you’d gain from hiring a ghostwriter. It could make the difference between always intending to get that manuscript done, and being able to stand on stage with a copy of the published article. Imagine that!
Please get in touch with me if you’d like to talk about how I can help.