If you’re lucky it happens once or twice in a career.
Usually it is because you are “on”, “inspired”, “in the zone” or the planets are aligned just so.
You come to the end of your speech, say thank you and…
We do an enrollment event or two each year.
Seven or eight of us do Ted length talks demonstrating how our skills are used in Professional Speaking. We are recruiting folks that believe their lives and careers could be enhanced if they were to acquire the skills to get paid to present their views. These folks believe in the power of the platform. And those of us that have lived that dream believe we owe it to them to help them along their way.
It ain’t cheap.
The academy, the reason for the enrollment presentation will cost them about two grand when all is said and done. But there is a bigger price to pay. Along the way they will learn that the dream can become a nightmare if you approach it as a hobby instead of a business. They will learn that you can never stop learning and that a few butterflies are good thing. They will learn that it can be lonely out on the road while so rewarding sometimes it nearly unbearable. They will learn that marketing and sales is not a department somewhere but at their desk and always working.
The price is worth it.
Those of us that gathered to present that night included:
- A stimulating trainer who “graduated’ from Dale Carnegie
- A PR expert with a best-selling book
- A founder of our chapter of the National Speakers Association
- A master of motivation so energetic it is catching
- A webinar consultant who sold his practice and is now in seminary
- A felon that speaks about how a blindspot can get you 33 months as a Federal inmate.
- A brand poobah.
The trainer got the crowd relaxed, involved and cheering.
The PR expert talked about his journey to find the folks he could be most helpful for and how he had been encouraged to write a book about networking. The crowd rewarded him by buying several books.
The founder talked about how story impacts speeches and life. Her easy warmth had the crowd nodding. She got a standing ovation.
The master motivator presented at his usual level of energy which is to say over the top. He took the room from quiet and relaxed to throbbing and got a thunderous round of applause.
The webinar expert told how having one of his kids asking him to stay home led to mastering webinars, consulting in the business and finally selling for six figures. His sad story of the divorce that could not be avoided caused unsure applause.
The felon was our master of ceremonies and did the pitch to sign up at the end. He kept everyone in stitches with follow up comments and introductions.
I spoke as the Brand Poobah. I told them 5 things that they could use in branding their current businesses and apply when they started speaking professionally. And then I told them the story of Jeremiah and how he was building his business one speech at a time.
Midway through the story that wonderful rapport between audience and speaker clicked into place. They were literally hanging on every word, holding their breath in the silences. We were connected. I finished and said, ”Thank you.”
The sound of silence.
You could have heard a pin drop. Somehow Jeremiah’s story had stunned them. They uttered not a sound for what seemed an eternity and then a gale force welled up. I have no words to explain how it feels.
That silent ovation makes it all worthwhile.
Jerry Fletcher is
a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador,
founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.