This past August, I had the great privilege to hear a speech by a man named Dale Irvin. Known as “The Professional Summarizer", he concludes events with a “wrap up” speech and his delivery is reminiscent of a good-natured roast as he recapped some of the key presentations over the course of the conference. He was hilarious!
Toward the end of his speech, he shared some of his own “words of wisdom” and like many others in the room who were chasing their own dream to be part of the professional speaking circuit, I found myself leaning in to hear what he would say next. This is what he told us:
“I’m going to give you my tip for how to be successful in this business.
It’s only one tip and it works every time.
If you want to be a speaker, you want to work full-time and you want to do this for a living, it’s very simple.
All you have to do is: Get Good!
That’s it - all you gotta do is get good.
A lot of you are saying: ‘I am good.’
No, you’re not. Get gooder.”
It was the most simplistic and yet important message for me that evening and I daresay over the course of the entire conference. I’d spent the previous three days attending break-out sessions on how to write and publish a tip book, how to maximize my social media channels, how to develop a Google Ads campaign using brand personas, how to translate my blog posts into YouTube videos, and so much more. All of these things were eye-opening, but it was Dale’s simple message that resonated the most with me. It’s quite possible I broke some rules that night because I recorded his speech on my phone – the whole thing, almost 17 minutes! And I’m so glad I did because I’ve watched it half a dozen times since, and that particular clip, less than one minute in length, continues to remind me what matters most in this business. Do I need a YouTube channel with plenty of video clips showing me delivering my content – yes, but this won’t help me ‘get good’. Do I need to run a Google Ads campaign so more people are aware of me? Yes, but it won’t make me any “gooder.”
Several months later, in late November, my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful evening together in Madison at an event called Wondernite. It started with a networking social hour on the very top floor of a fancy hotel in downtown Madison, and it also included a lovely dinner, an art show and both a live and silent auction. In a word, it was wonderful. The purveyor of this lovely evening is not only a speaker but also a very talented artist and one of the pieces that was on display that night featured a fortune cookie with a little slip of paper peeking out that read: good.
When I saw it hanging on the wall, Mr. Irvin’s words came rushing back to me yet again. And now, thanks to the talented Jason Kotecki (pictured here), this piece of art hangs on my wall in my office and serves as a daily reminder of what it will take to reach my dream.
As we approach the end of 2019, I ask you to consider what you need to do to “get good” in order to reach your full potential? Feel free to share your thoughts with me on my Facebook page.