If you can watch a show over and over again, because it’s funny, entertaining, and educational, that’s the mark of a great piece of work. One of my favorite YouTube shows is Jay Baer’s Talk Triggers Show. Not only is Jay very funny, but he shares real examples of what companies have done to stand out.
As a middle school student who is interested in business, I look for experts who are both educational and entertaining. Jay Baer sure fits that mold.
I also love that Jay always wears a plaid suit. (It’s one of his #TalkTriggers!) Until recently, I assumed that Jay just sits around his house in a plaid suit. And maybe there are days that he does (that’s a funny visual), but I do think it’s cool that everything he records from his home studio is always on brand.
As part of my 8-part Summer Speaker Series, and in an effort to learn more about Jay’s life as a speaker, I interviewed him on the following topics:
CJ: What was your first job?
JB: I worked at McDonald’s, starting when I was 15.
CJ: How did you become a professional speaker?
JB: I’d given a few speeches here and there over the years, but nothing consistent (or paid). When I wrote my first book, The NOW Revolution, I did a 20-city book tour with a presentation in each city. People seemed to like those programs, and they started to ask me to do other, paid engagements. From there, it took off pretty quickly.
CJ: Do you have a favorite keynote program (or topic)?
JB: Whichever one is the newest is the one I like best at the time. It is fun to revisit older programs now and then, but I tend to evangelize a specific topic on 2-year cycles, and then move to the next topic.
CJ: How did the COVID-19 quarantine affect you as a professional speaker?
JB: Of course, it eliminated all live speaking appearances for what will probably be six months or more. But it also opened up more virtual opportunities, and also made me realize that I don’t actually need live speaking and travel as much as I thought I did.
CJ: What is your favorite thing about speaking?
JB: My favorite part is when people send me emails months or years later and tell me that my program genuinely improved their life and/or their business. That’s really the whole point of it for me.
CJ: What career advice would you give to a middle school student?
JB: Try everything, and then figure out what you don’t like. I find the best career choices are often made by process of elimination, rather than a hopeful “Pin the Tail on the Career” exercise.
CJ: Why do you have an obsession with plaid suits?
JB: When you speak at a large conference and you stick around afterwards, you want attendees to be able to find you to ask questions, provide feedback, talk about future projects, etc. It is MUCH easier to be found in a crowd when you’re wearing a suit that nobody else is wearing. So it’s not so much an obsession as it is an attention-seeking system.
Thank you, Jay, for sharing your experiences and insights with us.
If you need advice on marketing, customer service, customer experience, and making sure your company stands out, you should really hire Jay Baer.
Our guest blogger Connor Joyce is a rising 7th grader from Huntersville, North Carolina. With a keen interest in learning more about the professional speaking industry, he produced an 8-Part Summer Speaker Series for www.MichelleJoyce.com. He is the firstborn child of Founder and President, Michelle Joyce. When he’s not interviewing speakers, he enjoys football, Fortnite, and watersports.