Thanks Adolph Kaestner for documenting some key learnings from Graeme Codrington’s challenging presentation to the Gauteng Chapter last month.  Graeme’s talk touched on many of the eight speaker competencies listed in the right hand column of this newsletter.  Now for Adolph’s perspective:
 Every now and again we need an AAK (Attitude Adjustment Klap) and boy, oh boy, did I get one from A-list speaker and PSASA Member Dr Graeme Codrington CSP FPSA recently.  So why was his presentation to us so profound, and what was it that has caused me to do a 360 degree rethink and evaluation of what I am doing in the professional speaking space?
Well, Graeme posed some really soul searching questions which I share with you below. Short and simple to understand, but not so comfortable to answer if you are 100% truthful with yourself.  So here goes.
Q #1 – Are you Relevant?

  • Is what you are saying (content) relevant – up to date – the best of practice information available?  Are you adding value to the information (not just regurgitating other people’s information freely available on the web) and will it be relevant to the people you address?
  • Who is your audience / your target market?  Who are they, is this your niche?
  • Is what you do or say relevant to your audience?  What does your audience want from you? What is it they will be prepared to pay for?  Are you attending the conferences they do to find out what they are after?  Are you reading the books they are reading?

Q # 2 – Are you Excellent?

  • Are you as good as you think you are?  Who are you measuring yourself against?
  • Are you a world class as speaker / presenter/ trainer, and who says you are?
  • Are you the BEST in your selected space/niche?  How are you testing this opinion? Audience, peer group evaluations, mastermind groups?
  • Do you have content, stage craft , voice , impact, personal trainers and mentors?
  • What and how much time and money are you investing in your Continuous Professional Development?  Are you continually improving?
  • On the stage and off the stage, are you easy to work with and completely professional?

Q # 3 – Are you Persistent?

  • Are you persistent on your business not in your business?  Are you working on improving your business all the time?
  • Do you have daily /weekly / monthly / yearly goals and plans to improve your craft?
  • Are you doing it all the time? (eg. are you writing something every day, even if only for 30 minutes a day such as articles, blogs, mind joggers, Dr Graeme Codringtonresearch etc. to improve your knowledge and expertise?).
  • Are you making constant contact with your clients – personal contact, relationship building contact?
  • Do you know what you want?  What does success look like to you?

This all sounds simple and yes, one can dismiss these questions and challenges easily, just say, “Yes, ok, I must do more of that,” or “I doesn’t apply to me!”
However, if you are keen to know why you are not yet ‘there’ (your dream), where you want to be regarding your status or recognition in the speaking industry, your bank balance, your goals and the lifestyle you dream of, then write down all these pointers from Graeme and then answer them ALL truthfully.  Then look at the picture and re-evaluate where you are in this profession and you will see whether you are future-proofing your speaking career or not.
Thanks Graeme for challenging us all, and me in particular.  I am working on all of these, believe me, and you may just be the reason why I will rejuvenate and build a successful business again – a priceless lesson!