Audience members expect certain things of any speaker. One of those common expectations is that the speaker will show up! Sometimes, that can be the biggest challenge.
Writers have it easier in this respect. You have no way of knowing, for instance, that there was a three-hour gap between my writing the first paragraph and writing this paragraph, except that I just told you. The gap was there because I wasn’t feeling well, and just didn’t feel like writing this post at that moment. Writers have deadlines, but once an article is delivered the time a reader connects is very flexible.
Some colleagues and I are exploring the possibility of setting up a mutual support community for up and coming speakers. This would include new speakers as well as experienced folks who are seeking to “move up” in the world of professional speaking where we can share what we’re discovering. I’m grateful for the mentoring that comes from more experienced speakers, many of whom are very willing to provide guidance. But there are some things that we all have to work out on our own, and we think mutual support might help that.
In a sense, speakers are competitors, but much more true is the fact that each speaker is so unique that no one really competes with anyone else. When we share what we’re learning, it’s like the rise of the tide: everyone’s boat floats higher. Continue reading