I’ve remained faithful to my current commitment to read or listen to quality, skill-sharpening, mindset-improving content daily.
Unfortunately, I’ve run into a hiccup keeping up with the ‘writing about it’ part of the challenge.
A little less than a week ago, I was wrapping up preparation for a speaking gig. I’ve had short 10-15 minute presentations that were, more or less insurance coverage synopsis talks. I’ve helped team teach 3-4 hour workshops on developing insurance programs for nonprofits and human service organizations.
For some reason, this presentation consumed every gap in my schedule. Thankfully, the preparation helped the talk to go (as far as I could tell) relatively well.
Here are a few lessons I learned about prepping for a speaking opportunity – an opportunity that came about only because of this current 6 month challenge.
- Start preparing before you have an opportunity: If you have any inclination toward using speaking or teaching as a marketing tool or value-add for clients, start preparing before an opportunity presents itself. For instance….
- Practice in safe environments: Join Toastmasters (the sheer amount of speaking time you can log is helpful) or take opportunities with colleagues to present on relevant work topics.
- Draft content: What do your best clients need to know about? What is your message? Start outlining content.
- Create 3-5 standard talks: Develop inventory. Have 3-5 topics you could speak 10-30 minutes on each. Make them easy to tailor to different situations.
- Choose your technology: Do you have a laptop, a clicker, a working knowledge of Keynote or Powerpoint? One of my biggest hurdles was figuring out how to navigate a PC desktop at work with Powerpoint with a Macbook and Keynote at home.
- Watch TED talks: Get to know a non-slide-ument, more aesthetically pleasing way of presenting that might allow you to better engage your listeners vs. encouraging them to read your slides along with you.
- Study and read: I loved reading Nancy Duarte’s Resonate and slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations along with Carnegie’s Stand and Deliver. I also picked up a few great pointers from Michael Hyatt’s podcast on effective slide presentations and the archives of What the Speak with Bryan Kelly (I can’t tell if this podcast is defunct or not. It’s great stuff, and I hope it will make its way back soon).
It’s difficult to plan before a tangible opportunity – as I would know since I didn’t plan until I got this opportunity approximately 4 weeks prior to the speaking engagement date.
I’m now inspired to pull together a few relevant talks, both geared toward professionals in my industry and toward professionals in the market that I serve.
Most of what we do as professionals might affect others, but it isn’t out in front of others. The prospect of laying an egg in front of 150 decision-makers can be daunting and all-consuming. Preparing early can help to avoid some of the stress.
What have you been doing to prepare for possible opportunities to present? Do you already present on a regular basis?
Today’s Listening and Reading
I’ve finished the book and hope to write up a book review soon. It’s a great Genesis to maps handbook for a sales and marketing process that considers the best of sales 1.0 along with considering cutting edge tools and buyer styles.
Content Curation Drives Us Nuts, Apple Makes Life Difficult But Wine Saves The Day – WebSearchSocial Podcast with Ralph and Carol Lynn Rivera.
In case you want a different take on content curation practices… a take that differs from the standard line that you have to push out 80% content of others vs. 20% content of your own, then you’ll have a friend in the Riveras. It do appear to be a hill worth dying on for the pair (grammar error intended). Actually, it’s not so much about battling this one marketing urban myth. From what I can tell, it’s more about being intentional about what actually works as it relates to overall marketing goals.
That’s what I like about the Riveras and Web.Search.Social: While they obviously love content and social media marketing, they love being effective even more. They are a worthy listen for anybody who wants to hear about social and other tech-based marketing from professional marketers who use the new tools vs. folks who use the new tools and fancy themselves as marketers just because they know how to schedule tweets.
BTW…. I feel like I’ve heard the 80%-20% rule apply more to ‘give value’ vs. ‘ask for the sale’ instead of content curation vs. content creation. I think many marketers falsely equate ‘give’ with ‘curate’.
Unprecedented and Be Rich – North Point Community Church
Megachurches get a bad rap. I encourage you to watch or listen to one or both of these, especially the ‘Be Rich – 2014’ sermon, where a church challenges its parishioners to give over $2MM on one Sunday, funds that go straight out to local, national, and international charities. In the words of Monopoly, the funds do not pass go (or go to jail, actually), they go directly to the charities.
The business lesson in these two sermons? Be absolutely committed to your mission, whatever that happens to be.
Great interviews with Rorke Denver (from 10.13.14) and the authors of Same Side Selling, Ian Altman and Jack Quarles.
That should do it for now… What did you learn, listen to, or read today?