Lessons from a Pup: The Seed Heads
Clairvoyance and Superhero-dom in Serving Your Clients
To be in business successfully is to always start from a place of service.
Service to others is the strongest foundation upon which any of us can build our business, personal brand, or holy-cow-new-idea for the world.
(You probably read and hear that a lot, but sometimes I think the idea gets reduced to a fortune cookie platitudes too often)
What that often means in the frenetic event space many of us occupy (and for those of you wanting to dip into that pool) is anticipating the client’s needs before they do.
As a public speaker you’re most directly impacting a company’s future success, in that instance — bringing your unique blend of insight and expertise to the mix. You’re the mad scientist.
As event planners, you’re providing a container for your speaking talent to spin their magic, and need to be prescient enough to help them make that experience remarkable. You’re the choreographers.
The Hugo-Seed Head Gambit
We are proud parents of a growing German Shepherd pup, Hugo (That's him, over there >>>. Adorable, right?) He’s constantly teaching us the best life lessons.
We have these large mature trees that canopy over our driveway, that drop small pinecone-like seeds. Trees doing tree things. Hugo thinks the seeds make for a great snack.
In small quantities, no problem. In larger quantities, not so much (for his belly or the soft edges of his mouth). The challenge is that the trees drop a lot of these seeds, and sometimes Hugo doesn’t know when to say when (because, dogs)
So I’ve gotten into the habit of picking them up. Not a fun task (those of you familiar with The Phantom Tollbooth should be familiar with the analogy), but a necessary thing because we love him — which sometimes means saving him from himself.
Event Planners are Choreographers and Superheroes
As event planners working with speaking talent, most of the time we’re just staying out of speakers’ way, letting them be brilliant with their particular brand of expertise.
But we’re also in service to to the their long-term development and should always be doing what we can to help speakers get better at what they do.
Sometimes that means walking a speaker back from a session or lecture topic that we know just isn’t going to be a home run or especially relevant for the audience. Saving them from inevitable square peg-round hole frustration — forcefully, and with love.
Sometimes it’s just offering resources or feedback to help them fine tune the recipe of their topic + presentation.
Sometimes it’s going ahead and letting them fail, and using that as an opportunity to help them develop, professionally.
Most of the time it’s a balance of all of the above. Your Hugo lesson is to stay attuned to best ways to tweak the choreography — anticipating your talent’s needs before they’re anticipating their audience’s needs.
What are your opportunities to do that generously?
Speakers are Clairvoyants and Mad Scientists
The Hugo lesson for you, oh valiant speaker tribe, is to use your clairvoyant powers for good. The client is every set of eyeballs staring back at you. It’s also your event hosts.
Are you asking the event planners good, clarifying questions in advance to better know thy audience?
How fine tuned are your precog abilities to know the audience's most important challenges before you hit the session room or board room?
How are you potentially saving the audience from making choices detrimental to their businesses — before they’re aware of those?
Are you listening generously to feedback? Do have your peripheral vision wide open to ABS (always be scanning) for opportunities to serve the audience, now and in the future?
Are you taking care of you, to make sure you’re keeping your Spidey senses tuned, your saw sharp?
We’re all counting on you to bring that unique blend of you, to help make the world wonderful and create opportunities for others. Do it expansively.
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Need an extra set of eyeballs or an outside perspective on a challenge du jour? Let’s chat! I’ll bring my years of working in this space — working with thousands of speakers and attendees, in service to your biggest goals. We offer a bunch of cool services to help fine-tune the planner-speaker tango.