When I first started working as a professional speaker – I worried a lot about many things but mostly about my knowledge, subject expertise and content. Like most people I feared not knowing ‘my stuff’ – appearing stupid or ill informed. In fact there was a genuine insecurity that someone in my audience would know more than me and that I would somehow be humiliated or exposed!
And of course to remedy this – I delayed my presenting opportunities – I would make excuses and tell myself I wasn’t quite there, quite ready – tell myself that I might do more damage to my brand my reputation – that the stuff was just not perfect and I would do it later. Of course that later would cost me income, experience and cost my clients too.
“Does the Presenter / Speaker need to know it ALL…”
How many talks have you been to – where you have such a speaker, the Oracle, the Guru, the all-knowing? The likelihood is that they are an expert in one slice of a large pie. The reality is that we listen NOT because we are wanting knowledge alone – we want momentum, we want group dynamic, to connect, to gain energy, we listen to talks so we can participate, to be inspired. Does knowledge help – of course and a presenter or speaker without knowledge of their subject is of little interest. However when watching a presentation we are interested in the speaker’s opinion’s, their personal stories, personal experiences it is what they stir in their audience that is of equal significance.
It took me years to understand and truly value the importance of substance- but most importantly to place it in to a mature context. It is right that you need to know your content, so that you can add value and come across as credible but equally there needs to be a level of self-acceptance. That you knowledge, expertise and insight will grow through doing and this in turn nourishes your audiences.
15 Years On What Do I Worry About?
Over 15 years of professional experience I have been able to work on style and substance and this never ends. I no longer worry about the above and enjoy an energised feeling, being in the zone – which is possibly the best feeling ever!
The one thing that I do worry about and I think every speaker should is about my speaker state – one of the most powerful techniques to get you performing. What do I mean – well that’s next month – or maybe email me if you can’t wait till then!!!
Until then take action – get speaking. Come join us!