Are you taking yourself for granted?

My wife works as a project manager for the education department of a Fortune 500 company. She was in the process of hiring a key note speaker for one of their events and showed me his proposal. I started to read it over and I was shocked at what I was reading.

In his proposal he listed the basic topic of his talk (No big deal there). Then he listed how it would be presented. And it was that list that was largely responsible for his being hired. Here are some excerpts from the actual proposal (I am just going to list the actual beginning of the sentences to illustrate a point):

  • Participants will answer two poll questions which …
  • Participants will create a list of ideas to help them …
  • Participants will share with a partner what makes them …

As I was reading this, something my 15 year-old son often says came to mind: “Duh!”

Even a mediocre trainer/speaker would engage the audience with two engaging (poll) questions.
Even a mediocre trainer/speaker would involve the participants with a written activity (list creation in this case)
Even a mediocre trainer/speaker would have the participants share what they wrote to solidify what they learned.

However, reading his proposal was a major “AHA” moment for me. Having been a professional trainer for one of the largest personal and professional development companies in north America, I believed that all of the things he listed are just par for the course and would not have even thought to mention them as a benefit of my programs. I realized then that I had been selling myself short.

Even though the items he listed are the basic building blocks of any professional presentation, they are in fact skills acquired through study and practice and coaching. They are skills that, although being very valuable, they are skills that most competent Trainers/speakers take for granted (including me up to now).

Lesson for the day:

  • Take a look at your product or service
  • Find the benefits that you offer but that up to now you have taken for granted. Remember; your clients won’t know what benefits are if you don’t tell them
  • Let them know how awesome you are and