Your Speaking Gigs for 2012

In my theatre experience folks often ask me, “Merri, do you prefer directing or performing?” And my usual response is, “whichever I’m doing at the moment”. I have come to love the craft of the performer – planning for an event or show, rehearsing it, gathering the nervous excitement prior to it’s starting and then finally experiencing the flow of the performance when well-prepared. The audience response has to be the best part of it, though.

Yet, the directing piece allows me to witness the light-bulb moments of others: both those performing and those in the audience. From the exploratory process of connecting the performer to their part (message, character, delivery, rhythm, etc.) to the shift from their own anxiety to excitement – working with others on helping them really love what they’re doing and who they’re being is precious.

And the same goes for speaking.

As much as I love stepping out onto that stage, I also get a rush out of claiming the best seat for watching a client or prospect speak while also being able to scope out their audience as they connect with them.

So I have been busy lining up times to hear other speakers present. Whether attorneys, accountants, bankers, insurance reps or other professional services, these folks have so much to offer their audiences. And the best of them are introverts, believe it or not. They have depth of knowledge to share and the ability to provide meaning and encouragement to their audiences. Not to exclude the extroverts who are charismatic and energetic – I enjoy critiquing both types.

So many speakers have talents that behoove them to continue speaking. That’s the first thing I look for. With that, there will undoubtedly be a few things they want some guidance in for furthering their craft.

Maybe they are speaking to educate – how do they connect to their audience to inspire curiosity? Perhaps they are speaking to persuade – how do they motivate them to open their thinking, act on their beliefs or handle challenging moments?

You may be a speaker already booking presentations for next year. What do you enjoy most about these opportunities? Is it the people you meet? The exposure to wide audiences? The feedback afterward? I would love to sit in your audience. Will you let me?

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On December 22nd, 2011, posted in: audience, extroverts, Fear of public speaking by