THE REASON I TOLD HER TO STOP SPEAKING
Every single one of us is told to be more visible, more vocal, to be more disruptive in what we have to say to cut through the noise in a crowded market place.
Make it clear you have decided to pursue speaking as a key component for your future success – whether as a professional speaker, to cement expert status, or to build a thriving business – and the instructions are explicit, and deafening.
We are told to speak as much as we can, whenever we can, for whomever we can. And as much as I disagree with this as a strategy – let me know if you would love me to get vocal on that one! – very rarely do I tell someone to STOP speaking.
But 3 weeks ago, I did just that. I potentially lost a client – but for the sake of her end game I couldn’t give any other advice but to stop speaking.
Imagine, just for a moment, that this is your world.
You have launched a coaching business. You are totally bootstrapping it. Your greatest weakness is sales. And now after six months you are realising that your greatest weakness is stripping the foundations out from under you.
You have set speaking as a core strategy to building your coaching business. But it’s seriously not as easy as you thought. Actually, you thought your networks would accelerate your start. But they haven’t.
And you have your heart set on being a professional speaker as the ultimate dream. A career of paid engagements across the world with a message that has serious impact.
You’ve edged over to sleepless nights. To drinking a little more. To skipping meals and updating socials. To wondering how on earth, you are going to get out of this without losing the lot, or quite frankly, losing your mind.
Right now, the only thing you need to focus on is how to sell, and to sell fast. You have the frameworks, the programs, even the testimonials which clearly say ‘you’re so good at this!’.
The only thing stopping you is the ability to sell. And to sell well.
Which is exactly the WRONG time to be speaking. Especially when it is a core element of your credibility, your strategy and your dreams.
Because the last thing you want to do is to not be able to give it everything you’ve got, every chance you’ve got. And when your world resembles the one I’ve just taken you into, you cannot turn up completely present, completely focussed, and deliver a knockout out presentation that has your audience clamouring for more. Wishing they could hear you again. Wanting more of you, to work with you, no matter the cost.
As an experienced, professional speaker? Absolutely.
As an ambitious, emerging speaker? Absolutely not.
And that is the reason I told her to STOP speaking.
Just for 90 days. A time short enough to breathe through, and long enough to pivot with strength. A time to regain confidence and strengthen foundation. A space to be able to know that when you get that opportunity you can take to the front of the room with one clear and present focus.
The people sitting directly in front of you.