Walking the Talk
For ten years up to 2009 I was a very busy speaker. The market has changed and I am involved in many more things now. Then, speaking every day and often more than once or even twice a day was hard work. It wasn’t just the seminars I was running around the country, I was doing a lot of keynotes, spin off work as well as training for some of South Africa’s corporates.
The logistics of just getting from one venue to another or one town to another was a constant challenge and although I rarely missed a plane or got stuck in the traffic it did happen sometimes. On one memorable occasion when I launched my new book on Time Management I arrived 30 minutes late in Bloemfontein to present the seminar on the same subject. The fact that my plane was late made no difference to the mood of the audience and this was one set of evaluation forms I didn’t bother to read.
It is very important to walk the talk if you want your brand to be credible. A speaker on global warming has to turn up in a hybrid car or on a bicycle for instance.
One on South Africa’s leading motivational speakers still smokes. This is unusual because you would think he could motivate himself to give up. The real challenge is when he does a gig with a group who he wants to motivate and has a cigarette in the break, he becomes less than convincing. In fact he is a damn good speaker and gets away with it but most of us would not be able to.
The actions you take speak much louder than the words you use so be very careful to walk the talk.
Building your desired brand at the beginning of your speaking career is much easier than changing it along the way. Give some thought to all the above and start to create the brand you want to live with.