July 18, 2011

Letters I wish I had written

Every now and then, I come across a blog post by another speaking expert and say to myself, "Why didn't I think of that?" Scott Berkun's open letter to conference organizers and open letter to speakers caused that reaction. The two letters say everything I would have said, had I written them.

Excerpt from the letter to conference organizers:

"It's challenging to fill an afternoon with great speakers, much less a 5 day, 3 track program. But it’s commonly forgotten in your trade, or by your sponsors, that speakers are the center of your event. They are the core of the agenda. They are what you advertise. And it’s what speakers promise to teach that gets people to pay to come. Yet once signed up to speak, they are often an afterthought, neglected behind the other critical tasks organizers have to manage."

Excerpt from the letter to speakers:

"6. There is nothing inspiring about winging it. If you paid $50 to see a show, would you want to see the actors and musicians winging it? You’d call them unprofessional. It’s not only disrespectful, your gamble is obvious to everyone in the room. Why speak if you’re only going to do it half-assed? Say No instead. All good speakers practice more than you think. Their carefree vibe is the result of hard-work, not the lack of it."

Read and enjoy!

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