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The Message of You

Turn Your Life Story into a Money-Making Speaking Career

Judy Carter

St. Martin's Press

The Message of You Download image

ISBN10: 1250007100
ISBN13: 9781250007100


336 Pages



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A step-by-step handbook that teaches readers to find the extraordinary stories tucked deep within them to make a difference in the lives of others—and to get paid—as a motivational speaker.

The Message of You begins with a simple belief—that your greatest speech already exists and that it has already been delivered in front of a live audience masterfully and powerfully by you. Best-selling author and international comic, Judy Carter sets out to prove that The Message of You is in the advice you give to your friends; in the lessons you teach your children; in the stories you tell your family. It's expressed through the volunteer work you do, the way you run your business, the way you turned your messes into successes. The Message of You is a distillation of all of your experiences, both personal and professional, that form the narrative meaning of your life. A meaning that you can develop into a well-written, funny speech to inspire audiences, enhance your current profession, and launch a successful money making career as a professional speaker.

In Part One of the book, Judy leads you through a series of in-depth exercises meant to mine your personal and professional experiences for stories that establish your qualifications, your problem/solutions, your action steps and your methodology. In Part Two, Judy has created a six-step structure for writing an entertaining and informative speech, guiding you through each step in detail. But the real bonus of The Message of You is that Judy is a comic. Her "Comedy Pass" chapter takes you through simple but effective comedy writing techniques that will transform even a flat PowerPoint snoozer into a knee-slapping showstopper of a keynote. Once your speech is well-written and funny, Judy takes you through Part Three, teaching you how to take your message to the masses with inexpensive but essential marketing tips.

The Message of You offers an accessible approach, big picture guidance, and nitty-gritty nuts and bolts of sound advice.

Judy has been a comedy and speaking coach for over twenty years. She's a firm believer that how you present your ideas is just as important as the ideas themselves. She knows that humor and strong content are the missing ingredients in most speeches and her book, The Message of You helps you discover both your message and your comedic voice by taking you through the same process she uses to coach her private clients.


Praise for The Message of You

"Judy Carter is not just funny but she also knows how to help others find their authentic message and communicate it in a way that makes audiences laugh."—Lily Tomlin

"If I told you that this book was about public speaking, I'd only be giving you half the story. It's really about discovering your own unique message—your story—and sharing it with people. As someone with a few speeches under his belt, I can tell you that Judy Carter knows what she's talking about: Storytelling is a huge part of being a successful speaker. Yes, you do have a message worth sharing—and when you touch the lives of others, your life will be changed as well. Read this book and unlock The Message of You."—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Great Leaders Grow

"Judy Carter knows how to make money on the lecture circuit. And when you read this excellent book, you'll know how to do it, too."—Joan Detz, speech coach and author of It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It

"Judy's book is a profound and inspiring journey that will show you that what you know is worth a lot more than you think. She shows the reader, through her six-step method, how to find their message by digging into their personal and professional journeys to transform their tragedies into triumphs. I highly recommend this book to anybody who wants to, or has to, speak in front of people."—Dr. Tony Alessandra, speaker and author of The Platinum Rule® and Charisma

"In The Message of You, Judy delivers her story and wisdom in a funny and highly applicable way—and teaches you to do the same. How to be funny, make money, inspire others and be more of who you truly are—what more could you ask for in a book? I got stuck reading this book—it's kind of how like Disney makes everything seem like magic to park visitors, but there's a very intentional, repeatable approach to their success in every aspect. After reading The Message of You, an audience will feel like your great speech is natural, rolling off the cuff, but in reality it's built from this personal story coupled with your intentional, repeatable speaking success secrets. Now, even though I'm a speaker agent, I kinda wanna go speak somewhere and speak."—Brian Lord, Speaker Agent, VP of Premiere Speakers Bureau

"I love the message of The Message of You! I learned from Judy how to embrace my missteps and misfortunes and turn them into comedy gold, and now, with this book, Judy will able to teach YOU how to discover and share your truthful, painful, hilarious, personal, hopeful, heartfelt message."—Cindy Chupack, Emmy-winning writer/producer of Modern Family, Sex and the City and Everybody Loves Raymond and author of The Between Boyfriends Book

"You will read and exclaim, "How does she know that's EXACTLY what I need to know?" And she holds you accountable to get things done . . . in a fun and friendly way. This is a 'must read' to find the message of you."—Cyndi Maxey, professional speaker, speaker coach, and author of Fearless Facilitation, Present Like a Pro and Speak Up!

"As a producer and writer of many TV comedies, I know how important it is to not only have the jokes, but to have a message from the heart as well. Judy shows you how to do both better than anyone I know."—Ellen Sandler, Former Co-Executive Prod. Everybody Loves Raymond, and author of The TV Writer's Workbook

"Judy's book is invaluable for anyone who wants to be an expert on TV. As a reality show producer, I'm always looking for people who have a clear message and point of view, and can express themselves succinctly and with humor. Next time anyone asks me how to prepare to get on TV, I'm just going to say, ‘Get Judy Carter's book.'"—Gina Rubinstein, Emmy-winning writer/producer of Reality TV Shows

"Looking for a good time? Read this book. Want others to look forward to seeing you again? Read this book. Eager to be worth being paid to give a speech? Live this book! Judy Carter has set the new standard for books on how to become a superior communicator . . . exceptionally well written, highly readable and FULL of value; a masterful work. BUY THIS BOOK NOW!"—Jim Cathcart, Hall of Fame Speaker, author of the International best seller The Acorn Principle

"As a WWE wrestler, I originally contracted Judy to become funnier while cutting promos in the ring. While she was helping me punch up my wrestling promo delivery, something bigger happened; Judy helped me find a message that is very meaningful to me and turn it into a speech called, "Find Your Strength." I'm now able to give back to my fans by speaking at schools. With Judy's help, I'm truly making a difference in young people's lives and, along the way, my own."—John Hennigan, formerly known as WWE Superstar John Morrison

"Judy Carter's new book is a rock star of the "How to be a Great Speaker" genre. She offers insights into the foundational practices that make for a great platform presentation. Polishing the nuggets of one's core life experiences is just the starting point of an exceptional and moving speech. Her Six Step Method is a road map to speaking success. Read Judy's book and get moving on your speaking career NOW!"—Jonathan Wygant, CEO of Big Speak Speaker Bureau

"When I first started standup comedy I didn't know what to write about. Thanks to Judy Carter I learned that the best material comes from your personal experiences and what sets you apart. That philosophy has helped me build a successful career as a standup comedian and become a TED speaker. Thank you Judy!"—Maz Jobrani, comedian and member of the "Axis of Evil" comedy group

"As someone who has been booking speakers for over 25 years, I've seen thousands of speakers and consulted with just as many event planning clients to find the right talent for their events. There are many books on the market geared toward helping people launch a speaking career, improve their presentation skills, etc.—but none go as deep as Judy's book. Judy describes how to turn your life's work and experiences into an inspiring message that can have a positive impact on everyone! That is what speaking is all about - sparking a tangible, real and potentially life-changing connection with other people; whether the audience is 25 or 10,000. You can be the best presenter in the world, but if you don't have the message and content to touch others, you'll fall flat. Judy helps her readers avoid years of trial and error on the speaking circuit and gets right to the heart of the matter. Earn your PhD in speaking with one simple book. Judy will help you hone your message and craft so that not only will become a financially successful speaker, but you will also be living your passion with an authentic message for others."—Mike Frick, President of Speakers Bureau

"Judy Carter is an expert at connecting to an audience. If you are looking for your message this book will be your guide."—Patricia Fripp, Past President, National Speakers Association

"Judy Carter taught me how to be the story, rather than to just tell a story. Every time I go to a network to pitch a TV show, I remember what I learned from her because when I can make people laugh, they tend to hire me."—Rob Lotterstein, TV writer, producer, and creator of Boy Meets World, Suddenly Susan, Ellen, Will & Grace, and The War at Home

"As someone with an exceptionally average life who has made a career getting paid to speak about it, I'm living proof that this book works. You'd be crazy not to buy it. And if you're crazy, you probably have a good story that people will pay to hear. So, either way, you should buy this book."—Ron Culberson, President of National Speaker's Association and author of Do It Well. Make It Fun

"Judy demystifies the talents of a few and makes them available to the masses. She literally wrote the book (Stand-Up Comedy: The Book) and the bible (The Comedy Bible) on comedy. Judy has done it again! She has demystified another unsolved mystery by showing you how to monezite your life story. If you follow her process, the next best seller I'll be reading will be yours."—Ed Tate, Certified Speaking Professional, World Champion of Public Speaking

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt



Okay, I'm going to say something shocking. Ready?
Your greatest speech has already been delivered in front of a live audience.
And that speech was delivered masterfully and powerfully...

About the author

Judy Carter

JUDY CARTER is a motivational humorist and the author of The Comedy Bible and Standup Comedy: The Book. Her message—how to use comedy techniques to decrease cubicle stress—makes Carter an in-demand speaker for Fortune 500 companies. Judy's been featured in hundreds of publications and television shows, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Oprah, and CNN. When she's not speaking, snowboarding, or scuba diving, Judy coaches people on how to be funnier. Her private clients include reality TV stars, pro wrestlers, celebs, and even a United States senator.

Mark Husmann

Judy Carter

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