Delatorro McNeal (@Delatorro) has served globally as a peak performance expert, renowned keynote speaker, and best-selling author. He’s the progressive CEO of Platinum Performance Global and has delivered over 3,000 paid presentations in 49 of the 50 United States and abroad.On June 17, Delatorro was named the closing keynote speaker at The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Annual Convention, held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana,.
Since 1927, the MDRT, a global, independent association has been the premiere association of financial professionals with more than 42,000 of the world’s leading life insurance, and financial services professionals from more than 470 companies in 71 countries. For the convention, over 600 speakers from around the world were considered during a 4-month vetting process by MDRT and McNeal ranked in the top 20. Company presidents and executives from over 100 of the top financial services and insurance companies globally will be in attendance, which makes MDRT one of the most coveted and prestigious stages to grace in the professional speaking industry. Of the 10,000+ in attendance, only 18% were from the United States, making this audience the largest and most internationally diverse McNeal has ever presented to, as his message was translated into 12 different languages.
Shortly after the epic event, BlackEnterprise.com caught up with McNeal to talk about his career milestone, and get industry-fresh advice for entrepreneurs who are professional speakers:
BlackEnterprise.com: What was it like to address an audience of 10,000 from 80 different countries at this epic event?
Delatorro: It was absolutely amazing. I was so humbled and honored to get the opportunity to impact that many people from all over the world, all at one time. These weren’t just random people. These were top producers in the financial services profession. So these people were the best of the best in their industry. The diversity was equally awe-inspiring and unifying. It reminded me that no matter how different we think we are, as human beings we are all very similar. As I was speaking and striking important points and note-worthy content, I saw people taking copious notes, screaming “Yes” at the top of their lungs in agreement, laughing at funny moments, crying at emotional moments, and cheering at celebratory moments. This was such a huge honor.
What was your reaction when you got the call telling you that you were selected as the closing keynote speaker, from over 600 speakers from around the world?
My journey with MDRT began in 2014, when I first got an email and call that I had made it to the top 20 speakers out of over 600 speakers that were vetted. However, I didn’t make it to the final 17 speakers that were to present that year. I was disappointed, but I stayed in communication with the organization and, the following year, I asked to be considered again. So this year, when I got the call in January that I made it, I was extremely excited. I was ready. I felt honored to be chosen from so many speakers, and by such a prestigious organization as The Million Dollar Round Table.
After 15 years in the professional speaking industry, with a coveted CSP designation, how do you personally maintain your edge?
Two things: I stay humble and hungry. I don’t let any great news get me too high, and I don’t let any bad news get me too low. I try to stay even-keeled. I look at every speaking engagement that I accept, as an honor and opportunity to serve, add value, lead, empower, inspire, and transform. That’s a tall order to do in 1 hour or less. I think humility gets me a long way in this business, because so many people at my level of the game are so egocentric and it turns clients off. So for me, I strive to be extraordinary while on the platform, and easy-going before and afterwards.
Also, I stay hungry, meaning I never believe that ‘I’ve made it’ or that ‘I’ve arrived.’ There are always people learning about me for the very first time, so I like to “speak like a pro, but market like I’m brand new,” as my mentor Dr. Willie Jolley has taught me. I never give the same speech twice, ever. It always comes out differently with each audience because I always work hard to feel, sense, and discern what that specific audience needs in that moment.
You’ve surpassed 3,000 paid-speaking presentations in your tenure as peak performance expert and motivational speaker, how did you prepare for an event of this magnitude?
Well, I certainly didn’t act like “I’ve got this.” I went into this event knowing that MDRT has a very high-standard of platform excellence and, therefore, they have a very rigorous process that they put all their main platform speakers through, to ensure that the final presentation is a huge success. They don’t leave anything to chance. So I embraced all aspects of process. I was assigned a planning committee liaison, who walked me step-by-step through the entire process. I was required to attend a rehearsal in Chicago, which was awesome and extremely helpful. I even had to submit a manuscript of my entire presentation, which I massaged for about 3 months to get it perfect. Because as I was speaking, my talk was being translated into 12 different languages, simultaneously, for the attendees, so they needed to know what I was going to say. So yes, I brought my many years and many stages of experience to the table, but I was also extremely client-focused and wanted to serve MDRT to the best of my ability. I must say that their process, while intense, has made me a better speaker.
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