As a speaker, you’ll always remember your first professional gig, and I imagine, you’ll always remember your last. Well while I’m not retiring from speaking, I am retiring from NLP, and today marked the first day of the last NLP Master Practitioner program I will offer.
As a professional speaker, your profession will evolve, and usually this evolution involves some sort of growing pain. Mine began several years ago when I wanted to retire from NLP but every year when I wanted it to be my last, there would be a handful of people wanting to back out. To avoid having to refund a huge sum of money, I would convince them to roll over their enrollment to the next year. What that meant, was I would have to conduct another one the following year. Not wanting to just speak for a handful of people, I would then sell additional seats to the event, which they in turn would have a handful of people wanting to cancel so I would talk them into rolling over to the following year. And so the cycle continued.
Finally, this year I decided to just take the loss, run the seminar and end the cycle. (If you want to find out how to prevent this from happening in your career, check out my free living eBook on professional speaking at http://bit.ly/3OrvJ9 where I’ve got the detailed solution on how to prevent it from occurring… go on, it’s free!)
As a professional speaker that becomes accustomed to teaching the same information over and over, it can sometimes be easy to forget that the participants in your course are new to the info. This is one of the constant battles of a professional speaker: “How do I keep myself entertained while teaching such basic, familiar information?” I’ll share with you my solution to this question, and it’s what’s kept me able to teach the same information for 20 years and yet still enjoy teaching it… even as I begin the last of my seminars that isn’t even making me any money in the first place:
The seminar isn’t for you, it’s for your participants.
I’ve constantly held this belief in the forefront of my mind whenever I begin a program and I think it’s what separates the speakers who are in the business to help others vs. the speakers who are in the business for the purpose of stroking their ego and getting praise.
So before you commit your life to being a professional speaker, ask yourself why you want to do it in the first place. If it’s for the good of others, you’ve found your calling.