There’s a reason why I speak ?

I’m leading a workshop on becoming a more professional speaker. It has me thinking about why I speak.

When you go to all the work of creating a conference or event, I know that you’re trying to serve the needs of your rural people. You want your participants to go on a journey. They should feel different, think different or act different by the end of the event. (It’s an idea I first heard about from Dr. Michelle Mazur.)

When you invite me to be part of your event, I see myself helping to create that change for your people, so I’ll ask you about that journey. I’ll try to find the way I can best help move them along the path towards who they need to become by the end of the event. That sounds high level and non-specific, but it’s actually ultra specific because I know the exact purpose I bring to speaking. 

I help your participants shape a brighter future for their small towns despite anything the pessimists might say or do against them, by giving them practical steps they can put into action to create immediate change. 

If that fits into the journey you have in mind for your audience, I’m excited to be part of it with you. If that doesn’t fit, it’s great to learn that so we can part ways amicably. 

Why am I telling you? Two reasons.

  • One, if you have an event or conference that is taking people on a journey that calls for me, I’d love to talk with you about it.
  • Two, if you are creating an event or conference (whether big or small), and you haven’t yet thought about the journey people will be going on, I want you to do that because it will make it much easier for you to make decisions about what’s right for your people. You’ll ultimately create a more successful event. 

If you’re someone who does some speaking and would like to step up and become more professional about it, you might be interested in the workshop I mentioned. (Notice that I just spelled out your journey as a participant at this event: you’ll become more professional in your speaking.)

Two outstanding speakers will be helping you with your delivery skills: Rob Hatch, one of my best professional friends and mentors who has spoken to national conferences and state legislatures, as well as a long list of events and trainings; and Cheryl Lawson, a longtime friend and inspiration who has spoken at major national events, taught university courses and has evaluated and booked lots of speakers for her own events. 

The workshop is March 30 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You can get more details at the EventBrite page or at the SMTulsa conference page. This workshop is part of the SMTulsa conference, but it’s open to anyone whether attending SMTulsa or not. (And SMTulsa is the only conference with a “social” focus that I attend now. It’s worth it. Use the discount code “Ispeak” for 10% off your SMTulsa ticket.) 
Here’s your homework: 
Think about the next event you’re responsible for organizing. What is the journey you want the audience to go on? How will they be different by the time they leave? 
Keep shaping the future of your town,