Share Your Stage

I learned a huge lesson recently which has changed my thinking about giving presentations.

When seeking visibility and credibility, it is important to share the stage with someone who is known and respected.

The Columbus Bar Association has been very gracious to me. They are quick to listen to new topics I bring them for their CLE’s as well as for their lunch and learn and committee meetings. So when I suggested a 3-session series  on Breaking Down Communication Barriers (Present Your Power; Courtroom Confidence; Manage Your Mantra) for this past fall, they responded equally well.

Through discussing my unconventional topics I realized my name alone would not bring in registrants. I am not an attorney, and I am relatively unknown to most members of the bar association. But because the CBA wanted to move ahead with the series, I considered doing something unprecedented in my practices – seeking a local co-presenter from the legal profession to help with the draw.

For awhile I struggled with this – not because I didn’t know someone who would be recognized in the topics and the field. My struggle was in how to maintain control over the presentation. (Maybe there are several ways I relate to attorneys – we are predominately introverted and we like to take charge!)

However, what I discovered was, the more I shared my ideas with my co-presenters, the more they appreciated my including them, respected my material and were willing to be on hand to provide stories of their experience in the given focus. We worked out how to make use of the time, how to divide the focus and what value each of us had to provide so we knew what to expect in material and participation. In essence, we planned out our strategy.

What transpired was, we learned to work together to share the presentation focus, we gained insight from each other and we saw what it was like to give over control as appropriate.

Beyond that, I learned that when selecting co-presenters, I needed to select ones which were already known and held in high regard. With this approach, they were admired, yet I along with them, by association.

I have known for some time in the networking world, if someone admired and respected refers someone to me, it’s a homerun. Likewise from the platform.

Those in my audience who know me will come to admire and respect my co-presenter, yet when my co-presenter is already admired, I will work hard to earn the right to stand next to them, will be seen and considered in the same light and by association, will jump into favorable view.

Likewise, if the co-presenting experience is good, my partner presenter will keep me in mind for future opportunities. I couldn’t have managed all these benefits on my own. But because I finally considered sharing my stage, I gained in many ways. Thank you to Jon Saia, Stephen Chappelear and Doug Althauser.

Are you looking for credibility within a  group where your visibility is low? Consider seeking others to support you in your endeavors. They will find opportunity in the experience as well. And you will see immediate benefits.


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On October 31st, 2012, posted in: credibility, networking, presentation by