I've been asked to speak at an event... but I know that I will not be the most knowledgeable in the room...!
Recently I was working with a client who told me his fear – he was speaking on a topic that he had personal experience of, but he knew he would be in a room with people that had more direct expertise on the subject. would they judge him? It’s a common fear! Perhaps you’re speaking on Marketing, VAT, or any other number of topics which you know about… but there are better experts out there.
Firstly the key is that they booked you, not the other person. A good point to remember! The organisers have asked you to speak about your experience for good reason, and that reason could be a number of reasons. In this case, it was clear the client wasn’t the expert on the subject, but that didn’t matter. The organisers wanted to hear his story, his experience which was the reason why he was booked. This is often the case. Your story is unique to you, it’s something the audience will want to hear more about. Understanding your audience is imperative when deigning your talk’s structure, but also will help guide you when you start to feel overwhelmed.
Solve a problem
There will be a room of people. Why? What got them through that door? They are looking for answers, which you may solve. Speakers are booked because they are offering a solution to a problem. mostly bookings occur when we help our audience achieve their objectives. That could be learning from your expertise, hearing your journey to help them understand theirs, or simply a chance to connect to you as a person. So ask your self, what is it that you are solving? Why did those people choose to put themselves in front of you? the answer should be in your marketing. If not – here is the opportunity to learn more from your audience. You could choose to use engaging tools during your talk to gauge what their what is. You could ask them questions, ask for a show of hands for an immediate response. You may use feedback cards at the end of your speech.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.Logan Cee
at the end of the day – you’ve been booked for a reason. Stick with your core values when it comes to sharing your knowledge, and you can’t go far wrong.