speaking industry

How “experts” are destroying the speaking industry

Alexia Public Speaking Leave a Comment

Can I share something with you?

I’ve been noticing a trend at many of the speaking events I’ve attended this year (maybe you are too) where most speakers fall into one of two camps.

The Charlatan – This kind of a speaker, who frequently pops up at business building events, oozes salesiness. And even if what he or she is selling works, you can’t help but feel dirty and in need of a shower after listening for more than five minutes. It’s all about the speaker. It’s all about doing more. Earning more. Posturing more.

The Teacher – While this kind of speaker may not appear to be selling snake oil, he or she is just as dangerous because s/he is selling information (at the expense of connection). Whether the topic is how to build a sales funnel or how to shed out of season beliefs, as an audience member, when one of these speakers has a mic in hand you will walk away with more information than you need, more overwhelmed than before the speaker began, and you’ll likely be wondering whether where you are (and where you are not) can change.

Now, here’s the thing.

Both “Charlatan” and “Teacher” speaking behaviors are triggered by the same problem—the desire to be seen as an “expert.” Which is really masking a deeper issue—the fear that if we are not an expert than what we have to say, and who we are, doesn’t matter.

As speakers, our greatest is opportunity is to discover our “secret sauce” so that we can show up to our speaking from a place of worthiness, be present and truly serve our audiences, and leave the people who have gifted us with their time a transformational experience that also leads to concrete next steps.

This kind of speaking—there is an art AND a science to it.

It’s about using structures (for creating presentations and delivering them) that unlock our creative genius.

And, it’s about having processes (that have been tested and validated) to manage our inevitable bouts of self-doubt and that embolden our truth telling.

The world doesn’t need more expert speakers. However, I believe it most definitely does need more speakers who stir the souls of their audience members.